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Their  Natural  History  and  Origin 



A.  BROWN  &  SONS,  Ltd.,   5   Farringdon  Avenue,  E.C. 



IN  this  work  I  have  gathered  together  the  results  of  over 
fifteen  years'  research  into  the  botany,  geology  and 
zoology  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands  of  Yorkshire.  So 
far  as  I  am  aware,  it  is  the  first  English  book  which 
deals  with  the  moors  of  a  district  from  a  scientific 
standpoint  and  which  treats  of  their  varied  phenomena  as 
a  coherent  whole.  Moors  in  different  parts  of  Great  Britain 
have  been  botanically  considered  in  papers  by  the  members 
of  the  Central  Committee  for  the  Survey  and  Study  of 
British  Vegetation,  Drs.  W.  G.  Smith,  Moss,  Rankin, 
F.  J.  Lewis,  and  the  late  R.  Smith.  In  Tansley's  "  Types 
of  British  Vegetation  "  (1911),  moors  and  heaths  are  con- 
sidered in  relation  to  other  types  of  vegetation  and  to  their 
conditions  of  existence,  climate,  soil,  etc.  On  the  Continent, 
they  have  long  been  recognised  as  important  objects  of 
research,  and  there  are  innumerable  books  and  papers  con- 
cerning them,  among  which  may  be  mentioned  Graebner's 
'  Heide  Nord-Deutschlands,"  and  Schroter  and  Fruh's 
'  Moore  der  Schweiz."  But  this  work  differs  from  all 
these  in  that  it  considers  not  only  the  plant  life  of  the 
Eastern  Moorlands,  but  also  the  geology  and  zoology  in 
their  relationship  and  interdependence. 

It  may  be  as  well  to  direct  attention  to  certain  sections 
of  the  work  which  deal  with  aspects  and  problems  of  the 
moors  hitherto  overlooked,  or  merely  hinted  at  by  earlier 
workers  :  the  peat  beds  and  the  evidence  they  yield  as 
to  primitive  woodland  on  the  moors  ;  the  relationship 
of  the  moorland  fauna  and  flora  to  the  glaciation  of  the 
district  ;     the   origin    of    the    chief    moorland    land-forms, 




especially  outliers  like  Roseberry  Topping,  and  inliers 
like  the  Hole  of  Horcum  ;  the  fauna  of  the  moors  and  its 
relation  to  the  flora.  Problems  of  more  general  interest 
here  discussed  are,  the  conditions  which  determine  the 
existence  of  moors ;  the  origin  of  the  moorland  flora ; 
the  origin  of  the  Red  Grouse ;  the  origin  of  the  insect  life, 
particularly  the  Butterflies  and  Moths.  I  have  approached 
each  problem  independently,  and  have,  in  each  case,  drawn 
my  conclusions  from  the  numerous  data  my  investigations 
have  afforded.  Much  still  remains  to  be  done  before  our 
knowledge  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands  can,  in  any  way,  be  re- 
garded as  complete.  Those  who  have  explored  the  district 
will  understand  how  arduous  a  task  it  is  to  examine 
thoroughly  an  area  nearly  as  large  as  an  average  English 
county,  and  intersected  by  innumerable  valleys,  each  of 
which  possesses  its  peculiarities.  Perhaps  the  investigation 
of  the  peat  deposits,  layer  by  layer,  is  the  most  urgent  piece 
of  research  that  is  needed,  not  only  because  it  would 
furnish  indications  of  climatic  changes  in  post-glacial  times, 
but  also  on  account  of  the  light  it  would  throw  on  the  de- 
velopment of  the  Mosses,  our  knowledge  of  which  at  present 
is  largely  inferential. 

As  every  aspect  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands  has  been 
touched  upon  in  these  pages,  an  exhaustive  treatment  of 
each  topic  has  not  been  attempted.  General  characteristics 
alone  have  been  described.  Detailed  descriptions  of  moor- 
land plants  and  animals  have  been  purposely  avoided,  as 
such  can  be  found  in  works  specially  devoted  to  accounts 
of  the  British  flora  and  fauna.  My  aim  throughout  has 
been  to  trace  the  moors  to  their  causes  ;  to  indicate  the  in- 
teraction and  interdependence  between  the  animals  and 
plants,  and  the  geological  history  of  the  district. 

The  book  is  an  expansion  of  my  paper  on  the  "  Origin  of 
the  Cleveland  Moors,"  read  before  the  Cleveland  Naturalists' 
Field  Club  in  February  1907,  and  afterwards  published  as 
a  pamphlet.     It  will  also  be  found  to  contain  a  more  elabor- 



ate  exposition  of  the  leading  ideas  in  my  paper  on  "  The 
Driftless  Area  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  and  its  Relation 
to  the  Distribution  of  Certain  Plants  and  Animals  "  pub- 
lished in  "  The  Naturalist  "  for  April,  1907  ;  and  in  my  paper 
on  "  Glacial  Survivals,"  which  appeared  in  the  same  journal 
for  August  and  September,  1907.  The  zoological  section  of 
the  work,  particularly  the  part  dealing  with  the  insect  life, 
is  coincident  with  my  paper  on  the  "  Problems  of  the  Fauna 
of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,"  read  before  the  Yorkshire 
Naturalists'  Union  at  Northallerton  in  August  1908. 

I  offer  my  best  thanks  to  Mr.  Godfrey  Bingley  of 
Leeds,  for  those  photographs  which  he  has  kindly  allowed 
me  to  utilise,  and  to  Mr.  Wray  of  Goathland,  for  the  photo- 
graph of  Lilla  Cross.  The  rest  of  the  illustrations  have  been 
taken  by  myself,  and  include  views  of  many  out-of-the- 
way  localities,  such  as  Loose  Howe,  Bloody  Beck,  Yarsley 
Moss  and  Winter  Gill. 

The  two  coloured  maps  are  based  on  those  of  the  Ordnance 
Survey  (supplemented  and  confirmed  by  my  own  observa- 
tions) with  the  permission  of  the  Controller  of  H.M.  Stationery 
Office,  to  whom  I  tender  my  thanks,  and  to  whom  I  am 
also  indebted  for  permission  to  quote  short  excerpts  from 
the  Memoirs  of  the  Geological  Survey.  The  small 
maps  are  intended  to  convey  an  idea  of  the  distribution 
of  some  familiar  moorland  plants  and  animals,  and  must 
be  regarded  as  merely  approximate.  Anyone  who  has 
plotted  out  distributions  as  given  in  monographs  must  often 
have  been  struck  by  their  vagueness.  An  insect  is  stated 
to  be  found  in  all  Europe,  but  does  this  include  Iceland  and 
Greece,  Lapland  and  the  Ural  Mountains,  Portugal  and 
Turkey  in  Europe  ?  Still  vaguer  does  the  distribution 
become  when  a  species  is  said  to  inhabit  North  America 
or  North  Asia. 

To  the  subscribers  my  very  best  thanks  are  due  for  their 
invaluable  support  in  this  undertaking,  since  without  it 
I  should  have  been  unable  to  publish.     I  regret  that  there 



has  been  so  long  a  delay  in  the  publication  of  the  work, 
but  this  was  partly  owing  to  the  difficulty  of  obtaining  a 
sufficient  number  of  subscribers,  and  partly  to  unavoidable 
delays  contingent  on  seeing  the  work  through  the  press. 

I  am  also  greatly  indebted  to  my  father,  Mr.  T.  C.  Elgee, 
for  invaluable  help  and  suggestions  during  the  preparation 
of  the  work.  To  Miss  Harriet  Wragg,  B.A.,  of  Shirley, 
Warwickshire,  I  must  here  express  my  best  thanks  for 
many  suggestions  and  for  assistance  in  correcting  proofs. 

I  ought  also  to  add  that  the  illustration  of  the  Red 
Grouse  has  been  made  from  Scotch  birds  in  the  Middles- 
brough Museum,  to  the  Curator  of  which,  Mr.  B.  Hudson, 
I  am  obliged  for  permission  to  photograph  the  same. 


Middlesbrough,  December  1912. 



Introduction     . .         . .         . .         . .         •  •         •  •  J 


Black- a-More    . .         . .         . .         . .         •  •         •  •        I2 


The  Fat  Moors  . .         . .         . .         . .         •  •        37 


The  Thin  Moors  . .         . .         65 

The  Mosses        77 

Moorland  Slopes         . .         . .         . .         • .         •  •       101 

Slacks  and  Gills        ..         ..         ..         ..         ••       115 

The  Ice  Age  on  the  Moors  . .         . .         . .       134 


The  Origin  of  the  Moorland  Flora  . .         . .       150 





The  Relation  of  the  Ice  Age  to  the  Moorland 

Flora  . .         . .         . .         . .         . .         .  •       166 

Moorland  Rocks         . .         . .         . .         . .         . .       182 


The  Erosion  of  the  Moorland  Rocks     ..         ..       198 


The  Origin  of  the  Dales     . .         . .         . .         . .       213 

The  Cleveland  and  Hambleton  Hills    . .         . .       229 

Animal  Life  on  the  Moors.  246 

Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 266 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors — Continued     . .         . .       276 

Conclusion         3°8 


Table  of  the  moorland  Butterflies  and  Moths 

of  Europe 3I9 

INDEX 34i 




Newton  Dale 

















Newton  Dale    from    Salters- 

Gate  Beck 
Newton  Dale  from  Piffel  Head 
High  Stone  Dyke,  Castleton 

Temple  Beald  and  Hardhurst 

Stone  Circle 
Job  Cross,  Moorsholm  Moor  . . 
White  Cross,  Rosedale  Head 
Three  Howes,  Egton  High  Moor 
Saltersgate  Inn 
Turf  Rooks,  Castleton  Ridge 
Crowberry  (Empetvum  nigrum) 
Section  of  Moorland  Soil     . . 

Do.  do. 

Ancient    Earthworks     near 

Harwood  Dale  Peat  Holes  . . 
Pike  Hill  Moss  Peat  Holes  . . 
Yarsley  Moss,  Glaisdale  Head 
Peat  at  Loose  Howe,  Rosedale 

Collier    Gill    Peat    Holes, 

Cotton  Grass  (Eriophorum  an- 

gustifolium)  in  Fruit,  Danby 


swidden,"     clothed     with 

Flying  Bent  (Molinia  varia), 













List  of  Illustrations 


21. — The  Moors  from  Lastingham  Godfrey  Bingley. .  88 
22. — Head  of  Ewe  Crag  Slack     ..  ,,  ..   114 

23.— Ewe  Crag  Slack,  looking  South  Author.  ..   116 

24. — Diagram  of  Plant  Distribution 

in  Ewe  Crag  Slack  117 

25. — Birch  Wood  and  Juncus  Swamp, 

Eston  Hills  . .         . .         . .    Author 120 

26. — Great  Hograh,  Baysdale  . .  ,,  . .  . .  128 
27.— Holly    and    Juniper    Trees, 

Baysdale        . .         . .         . .         ,,        . .       . .   128 

28. — 'moss    swang,    near    egton 

Bridge  . .         . .         . .         ,,        . .       . .   130 

29.— Foul  Syke  Slack,  near  Robin 

Hood's  Bay    . .         . .         . .    Godfrey  Bingley.  136 

30. — Randay  Mere,    near    Goath- 

land      . .  . .  . .  . .    Godfrey  Bingley.   136 

31. — Newton  Dale,  above  Raindale 

Mill      ..         ..         ..         ..    Author 144 

32. — Hardale  Slack,  Roxby  Moor  Godfrey  Bingley.  144 
33. — Map  showing  Distribution  of 

Bilberry     (Vaccinium    myr- 

ttltusj     . .  ..  ••  ••  ••        ••        ••   J- 57 

34. — Map  showing  Distribution  of 

Heather         159 

35. — Map  showing  Distribution  of 

Cotton    Grass    ( Eriophorum 

vaginatum  and  angusti folium)  163 

36. — Cheese  Stones,  Baysdale    . .    Author 168 

37.— Boulder  of  Grit  with  Fossil 

Plant  (Williamsonia  pecten)  168 

38. — Old  Coal  Pit  Heap,  Rosedale 

Head    . .         . .         . .         . .    Author,   . .       . .   170 

39. — Boulders    of    Fossiliferous 

Grit,  Castleton  . .  . .  „  . .  . .  170 
40. — Loose  Howe,  Rosedale  Head  ,,  . .  . .  176 
41. — Moor  Grit,  Castleton  Quarries     „        . .       . .   184 


List  of  Illustrations 


42. — Kellaways  Rock,  Dimmingdale 

Quarry  ..  ..  ..    Author 

43. — Cliff  of  Kellaways  Rock  near 
the  Needle's  Eye,  Newton- 
Dale     . .         . .         . .         . .    Godfrey  Binglcy 

44. — Outlier  of  Kellaways  Rock 

on  Harwood  Dale  Moor     . .    A  uthor 

45. — Moors  near  Lastingham,  show- 
ing the  Tabular  Hills         ..  Godfrey  Binglcy. 

46. — Black  Hambleton       . .         . .    Author 

47. — Blakey  Topping 

48. — One  of  the  Bridestones,  Stain- 
Dale     . .  . .  . .  . .    Godfrey  Bingley 

49. — Whinny  Nab,  near  Saltersgate  Author 

50. — The  Hole  of  Horcum 

51. — Winter  Gill,  Glaisdale 

52. — Baysdale  below  Hob  Hole 

53. — Grain  Beck,  Baysdale 

54. — The  Howe,  Castleton 

55. — Bloody  Beck  at  its  Junction 
with  jugger  howe  dale   .  . 

56. — Diagram  of  Outliers 

57. — Freeborough  Hill  from  the 

North  . .         . .         . .         . .    Author. 

58. — Map  showing  Geological  Struc- 
ture of  Freeborough  Hill 

59. — Head  of  Moorland  Sheep 

Co. — The  Red  Grouse  {Lagopus  scot- 

I'CIiS)  ■  «  •  •  ••  ••  •■ 

61. — Map  showing  Distribution  of 

the  Genus  Lagopus 
62. — Hagworm   Hill   and   Seamer 

Beacon,  near  Scarborough.  .   Godfrey  Bingley. 
63. — Solitary  Ant  {Mutilla  eitropcea)    Author.   .. 
64. — Jugger     Howe      Dale     and 

Brown  Rigg   . . 













Godfrey  Bingley.  2  08 


List  of  Illustrations 


65. — Map  of  Europe  showing  Dis- 
tribution of  Genus  Mutilla 271 

66. — Coloured  Plate  of  Moorland 

Butterflies  and  Moths.     . .         280 

67. — Map  showing  Distribution  of 

Heath  Rustic  Moth  (  Agrotis 

agathina)  . .  . .  . .  292 

68. — Map  showing  Distribution  of 

Little  Yellow  Underwing 

Moth  (  Anarta  myrtilli).        . .  293 

69. — Map  showing  Distribution  of 

Bilberry     Moth     (Cloantha 

solidaginis).      . .  . .  , .  306 

70. — Lilla  Cross.      . .         . .         . .  E.  Wray.  . .   316 


Geological  Sections  of  the  Moorland  District  . .   198 

Geological  Map  of  North  Eastern  Yorkshire  . .  At  end 
Map   of   the   Moorlands    of    North   Eastern 

Yorkshire       . .         . .         . .         . .         . .  At  end 








Moorlands  of 
North -Eastern    Yorkshire 


NORTH-EASTERN  Yorkshire  has  long  been  re- 
garded as  one  of  the  most  picturesque  and 
interesting  districts  of  England,  particularly  on 
account  of  its  beautiful  dales  and  wide-spreading 
heather-clad  moors,  so  much  frequented  by  the 
sportsman,  the  holiday-maker,  and  the  tourist.  It  has  also 
been  a  favourite  region  for  the  investigations  of  the  an- 
tiquary, the  botanist,  the  geologist,  and  the  naturalist  ; 
but  hitherto  no  comprehensive  account  of  its  moorlands  in 
their  scientific  aspects  has  been  given.  This  hiatus  in  our 
knowledge  of  the  area  it  is  proposed  to  fill  by  the  present 
work,  which  deals  exclusively  with  the  moors  as  an  object 
of  research,  and  describes  their  plant-life,  geology,  and 
natural  history,  with  a  view  to  elucidating  the  problem  of 
their  origin. 

The  geographical  features  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  have 
so  often  been  described  that  it  will  suffice  for  the  benefit 
of  those  unacquainted  with  the  district  if  we  indicate  in  a 
general  way  the  distribution  and  boundaries  of  the  moor- 
lands and  their  relation  to  the  topography,  since  further 
details  will  appear  in  the  course  of  the  work. 

The  region  forms  one  of  the  most  natural  divisions  of 
Yorkshire,  possessing  its  own  special  physical  and  geological 
features,  and  being  well-defined  by  distinct  physical  boun- 
daries.    In  a  general  sense  the  district  is  an  elevated  table- 

i  a 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

land,  nowhere  attaining  a  greater  altitude  than  1489  feet 
above  the  sea.  In  the  south,  this  tableland  is  separated 
from  the  Chalk  Wolds  by  the  fertile  Vale  of  Pickering  ;  in 
the  west,  it  is  bounded  by  the  Vale  of  York  ;  in  the  north 
it  is  defined  by  the  plain  of  Cleveland,  and  the  lower  valley 
and  estuary  of  the  Tees  ;  and  in  the  east,  it  terminates  in  the 
grand  sea-cliffs  from  Saltburn  to  Scarborough.  Within 
these  lines  the  great  moors  occur,  extending  about  thirty- 
two  miles  from  east  to  west,  and  sixteen  miles  from  north 
to  south,  and  containing  between  three  hundred  and  four 
hundred  square  miles  of  land  more  or  less  covered  with 

We  may  regard  the  Eastern  Moorlands  as  an  irregular, 
dome-shaped  massif,  the  north-western  portion  of  which, 
formerly  occupying  the  lowlands  of  the  Vale  of  Stokesley, 
has  been  swept  away.  This  massif  reaches  its  highest 
elevation  of  1489  feet  at  Burton  Head  on  Urra  Moor,  above 
Ingleby  Greenhow.  Burton  Head  is  not  placed  in  the 
centre  of  the  tableland  ;  on  the  contrary,  it  is  situated 
towards  the  western  margin,  and  the  adjacent  heights  do 
not  differ  considerably  from  it  in  elevation.  Eastwards 
from  Urra,  the  moors  extend  in  an  almost  unbroken  line  to 
Peak,  the  south  point  of  Robin  Hood's  Bay,  and  form  the 
back-bone  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  the  South  Cleveland 
or  central  watershed,  which  divides  the  drainage  of  the 
Esk  from  that  of  the  Derwent.  From  1489  feet  on  Urra 
Moor  to  800  feet  on  Brow  Moor  at  Peak,  there  is  a  decline 
of  689  feet  in  twenty-six  miles.  From  Urra  Moor  to  Cock 
Heads  on  Glaisdale  Moor,  the  highest  points  are,  Stony 
Ridge,  1422  feet  ;  Farndale  Moor,  1342  feet  ;  Ralph  Cross, 
1409  feet ;  Loose  Howe,  1419  feet  (Fig.  40)  ;  and  Cock 
Heads,  1301  feet  ;  a  total  fall  of  about  200  feet  in  nine 
miles.  East  of  Cock  Heads,  the  watershed  rapidly  declines 
in  height,  being  1070  feet  on  Egton  High  Moor,  824  feet 
on  Goathland  Moor,  and  959  feet  at  Lilla  Cross  on  Fyling- 
dales  Moor  (Fig.  70). 


Westwards  from  Burton  Head,  the  elevation  of  the  Cleve- 
land Hills  steadily  sinks  until,  above  Osmotherley,  it  is 
about  1050  feet,  a  fall  of  439  feet  in  seven  or  eight  miles. 
South  of  the  central  watershed,  the  tableland  slopes  gradually 
to  the  Vale  of  Pickering,  interrupted,  however,  by  the  great 
range  of  the  Tabular  Hills,  whose  flat-topped  summits 
also  slope  down  to  the  Vale.  North  of  the  central  water- 
shed, the  plateau  descends  to  the  valleys  of  the  Esk  and 
Kildale— a  remarkable  trough  running  through  the  uplands 
from  the  Cleveland  escarpment  at  Kildale  to  the  sea  at 
Whitby.  Between  Guisborough  and  Aislaby  (near  Whitby), 
the  moors  cover  the  high  land  north  of  Eskdale,  the  North 
Cleveland  watershed,  though  their  boundary  is  not  always 
defined  by  any  well-marked  physical  features.  They  com- 
prise the  chief  moorlands  of  Cleveland  properly  so-called, 
and  are  comparatively  unbroken  by  cultivated  valleys, 
except  at  the  western  end,  where  Lonsdale  and  Sleddale 
fall  into  Kildale,  and  at  Stonegate  between  Lealholm  and 
Glaisdale  (see  map). 

Between  Whitby  and  Scarborough,  the  moors  cover  the 
high  ground  which  terminates  in  the  sea-cliffs,  but  their 
boundary  as  a  rule  falls  short  of  the  sea,  except  at  Peak, 
where  the  Heather  descends  almost  to  the  shore.  In  this 
area,  the  moor  edge  coincides  with  the  uppermost  slopes  of 
the  valleys  converging  on  Robin  Hood's  Bay,  Hayburn  and 
Cloughton  Wykes  ;  and  at  Hackness  and  Seamer,  they  exist 
upon  the  summits  of  the  Tabular  Hills. 

In  the  south,  the  margin  of  the  moors  follows,  more  or 
less  closely,  the  escarpment  of  the  Tabular  Hills  which, 
facing  north  and  commanding  the  chief  moorland  region, 
runs  across  the  country  from  Scarborough  to  Black  Hamble- 
ton  in  the  west  (for  views  of  the  Tabular  Hills,  see  Figs. 
45,  46,  47,  49,  50,  also  frontispiece  where  the  flat-topped  nab 
in  the  right  background  is  part  of  this  range).  The  course 
of  this  noble  range  is  clearly  indicated  on  the  geological 
map  by  the  pink  band  north  of  the  blue.     A  comparison 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

of  the  two  maps  shows  that  the  moors  overlap  the  summit 
of  the  escarpment,  and  in  places  form  extensive  spreads  on 
the  flat  tops.  This  feature  is  especially  noticeable  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Lockton,  Levisham,  Allerston,  and  Dalby 
in  the  east ;  and  further  west  at  Boonhill  Common,  Birk 
Nab,  and  near  Rievaulx. 

The  western  end  of  the  moors  coincides  with  an  extension 
of  the  same  range  of  hills,  forming  the  grand  escarpment 
of  the  Hambletons  which  overlooks  the  Vale  of  York  and  the 
towns  of  Thirsk  and  Northallerton.  The  Hambletons  extend 
from  Roulston  Scar  in  the  south,  to  the  summit  of  Black 
Hambleton  and  Arden  Great  Moor  in  the  north  ;  the  former 
at  an  altitude  of  900  feet,  the  latter  at  an  altitude  of  1289 
feet.  From  Roulston  Scar  the  moors  trend  eastwards,  in  an 
irregular  manner,  to  the  valley  of  the  Rye  near  Helmsley, 
which,  with  its  branches,  forms  a  large  area  of  cultivated 
country  almost  surrounded  by  moorlands. 

A  glance  at  the  map  shows  that  the  moors  are  by  no 
means  continuous  within  these  natural  bounds,  but  are 
broken  up  into  larger  and  smaller  areas  separated  from  one 
another  by  deep  valleys — the  dales.  The  dales  south  of 
the  central  watershed  are  much  longer  and  larger  than  those 
to  the  north,  and  taking  them  from  west  to  east  they  are, 
Ryedale,  Bilsdale,  Bransdale,  Farndale,  Rosedale,  and 
Newton  Dale.  Those  falling  towards  the  valley  of  the  Esk 
are  Baysdale,  Westerdale,  Danby  Dale,  Great  and  Little 
Fryup  Dales,  Glaisdale,  Egton  Grange,  Goathland  Dale,  and 
Iburndale.  The  moorland  ridges  between  these  valleys 
are  usually  somewhat  narrow,  but  often  expand  as  they 
recede  from  the  watershed.  This  is  particularly  the  case 
with  the  ridges  between  the  great  southern  valleys  of  Bils- 
dale, Bransdale,  Farndale,  and  Rosedale  :  the  moors  upon 
them  unite  at  the  foot  of  the  Tabular  Hills,  and  extend  al- 
most uninterruptedly  from  Helmsley  Moor  to  Wykeham 
High  Moor,  and  to  the  heights  above  Cloughton  and  Burnis- 


The  greatest  expanses  of  unbroken  moor  occur  in  the  east. 
The  tract  of  high  land  between  Rosedale  and  Newton  Dale, 
constituting  Egton  High,  Wheeldale  and  Pickering  Moors, 
is  one  of  the  largest  spreads  of  heath  vegetation  in  North- 
Eastern  Yorkshire.  Joining  this  group  of  moors  is  another 
group,  which,  as  the  map  clearly  indicates,  is  by  far  the 
widest  and  most  continuous  part  of  the  whole  moorland 
area — that  east  of  Newton  Dale ;  Goathland,  Sleights, 
Fylingdales,  Allerston,  Wykeham  High,  and  Ebberston 
High  Moors.  The  most  striking  feature  of  this  area  is  the 
general  easterly  trend  of  its  small  valleys,  a  trend  in  agree- 
ment with  the  easterly  slope  of  the  land.  These  small  dales 
constitute  the  valleys  falling  into  Robin  Hood's  Bay,  Stain- 
tondale,  the  Symes  Valley,  the  valleys  of  Black  Beck  and 
the  Derwent,  and  Troutsdale.  The  three  latter  coalesce 
and  form  the  Sea  Cut  valley  between  the  heights  of  Hack- 
ness  and  Irton  Moors. 

Such  then,  in  brief  outline,  is  the  topography  of  the  dis- 
trict we  shall  study  in  these  pages  ;  further  details  of  the 
utmost  importance  will  appear  in  the  course  of  this  work 
but  an  attentive  examination  of  the  maps  will  enable  the 
reader,  without  difficulty,  to  grasp  the  essential  features. 
It  must  be  remembered  that  we  shall  use  the  word  "  moor  " 
in  its  local  sense,  as  a  convenient  term  for  all  heather-clad 
land,  heaths,  moorland  bogs,  and  even  in  some  cases  grassy 
commons.  The  term  "  heath  "  perhaps  best  describes  the 
larger  portion  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands,  but  it  is  an  un- 
familiar word  in  the  North  of  England.  '  Moor  "  in  some 
parts  of  the  country,  and  always  in  Germany,  is  applied 
to  swampy  land  or  bogs  whether  they  are  clothed  with 
heath  vegetation  or  not.  Such  a  restricted  use  of  the  word 
in  the  present  instance  would  not  only  be  inconvenient, 
but  misleading.  If  it  is  always  borne  in  mind  that  we  use 
the  word  as  it  is  employed  in  the  district,  no  confusion  of 
ideas  can  possibly  arise. 

It   is    somewhat    surprising    that    the    moors    have   not 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

received  the  attention  which  they  certainly  deserve.  The 
moor  problem  is  essentially  a  botanical  problem,  but  even 
from  this  standpoint,  it  has  received  scant  notice.  True 
it  is  that  we  have  more  or  less  complete  lists  of  the 
flora,  but  any  attempt  to  study  the  "  moor "  itself 
does  not  appear  to  have  been  made.  The  nearest 
approach  was  that  of  Mr.  J.  G.  Baker,  F.R.S.,  in  his  "  North 
Yorkshire  :  Studies  of  its  Climatology,  Geology,  and  Bot- 
any," published  in  1863,  and  re-issued  in  1906,  by  the 
Yorkshire  Naturalists'  Union.  In  this  work,  as  its  title 
indicates,  the  author  was  the  first  to  endeavour  to  trace  the 
relationship  which  subsists  between  the  plant  life  of  North 
Yorkshire  and  its  geology  and  climate,  and  in  the  floristic 
part  of  the  work,  the  range  and  status  of  the  moorland  plants 
are  carefully  described.  The  topography  of  the  district 
is  also  delineated  in  some  detail,  but  there  is  no  actual 
account  of  the  moors,  though  the  work  contains  a  descrip- 
tion of  the  vegetation  of  Rombald's  Moor  near  Ilkley,  in 
which  the  author  very  closely  approaches  the  modern  con- 
ception of  the  plant  association.  "  North  Yorkshire  " 
is  a  great  pioneer  work,  and  an  indispensable  source 
of  valuable  information  concerning  the  flora  and  the  abun- 
dance or  rarity  of  its  component  species.  As  such,  we  have 
frequently  employed  it  whilst  developing  the  present  work. 

One  of  the  earliest  descriptions  of  the  moors  is  to  be 
found  in  Marshall's  "  Rural  Economy  of  Yorkshire  "  (1796), 
where  not  only  is  there  a  list  of  plants,  but  also  an  account 
of  the  moorland  soils  (see  Chapter  III.). 

Dr.  Young,  in  his  "  History  of  Whitby  "  (1818),  mentions 
May  Moss  as  a  remarkable  upland  bog,  and  it  is  probably 
this  moor  which  is  called  the  "  Moss  "  in  several  of  the 
charters  of  Whitby  Abbey  (temp.  Henry  I.).  It  is  first 
mentioned  in  a  grant  of  Alan  de  Percy  to  the  Abbey  of 
Whitby,  where  it  states  :  'I  have  given  and  confirmed 
to  the  aforesaid  church  of  Wyteby,  and  to  the  monks  per- 
forming divine  service  there,  for  a  perpetual  alms,  all  the 



lands,  forests,  pastures,  and  woods  in  my  freehold  .  .  . 
within  these  boundaries,  viz.,  all  the  sea-coast  from  the 
port  of  Wyteby  to  Blawych  (Blue  Wick  or  Blea  Wyke),  and 
thence  to  Grenedic  (Green  Dyke  near  Peak)  ;  and  along 
Grenedic  to  Swinestischage,  and  to  Thornelay,  and  all 
Thornelay ;  and  to  Kirkelac  (Kirkless  near  Burniston), 
and  to  Coppekeldebrok,  and  thence  along  by  the  brow  of  the 
hill  beyond  Theovesdiches  (Thieves'  Dykes  on  Suffield 
Moor)  to  Staincrossegate,  which  is  near  the  town  of  Suffield  ; 
and  thence  to  Gretaheued,  and  to  Elsicroft,  and  the  Moss 
(Mosam)  to  the  middle  of  the  Moss  ;  and  thence  to  the 
Derewent,  and  half  the  Derewent  all  along  to  where  the 
Derewent  first  rises  out  of  the  earth,  and  to  Lilla  Cros,  and 
to  Scograineshoues  (probably  Louven  Howes),  and  to 
Sylhou  (Sil  Howe  on  Sleights  Moor),  etc."*  We  have  quoted 
this  charter  because  it  mentions  several  places  on  the  moors, 
and  is  perhaps  the  earliest  reference  to  them. 

The  geology  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands  has  attracted 
attention  ever  since  the  close  of  the  eighteenth  century,  and 
thanks  to  the  labours  of  many  enthusiastic  students  we  now 
possess  a  tolerably  complete  knowledge  of  the  stratigraphy 
of  the  area.  Young  and  Bird's  "  Geological  Survey  of  the 
Yorkshire  Coast  "  (1828),  contains  brief  references  to  the 
moors  and  their  rocks,  but  the  late  John  Phillips,  in  his 
"  Illustrations  of  the  Geology  of  Yorkshire  "  (1829),  first 
described  and  indicated  the  geological  position  of  the  moor- 
land strata.  To  him,  also,  we  owe  the  name  "  Tabular 
Hills,"  whilst  in  the  "  Sea-Coast,  Rivers  and  Mountains 
of  Yorkshire"  (1855),  he  discussed  the  causes  which  have 
led  to  the  formation  of  the  moorland  massif  and  its  dales. 

The  late  Joseph  Bewick,  the  mining  engineer  of  Grosmont, 
in  his  "  Geological  Treatise  on  the  District  of  Cleveland  " 
(1861),  gives  the  following  entertaining  description  of  the 
moorland  pass  between  Commondale  and  Kildale  : — "  This 

*  Charlton's  "  History  of  Whitby,"  1779. 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

deep  glen,  which  owes  its  origin  to  the  occasional  violence 
of  mountain  streams,  is  excavated  through  a  large  tract 
of  high  moorland  ;  its  slopes  can  only  boast  of  a  scant 
vegetation,  whilst  the  surface  of  its  high  ridges  is  thickly 
studded  with  the  purple  heath,  through  which  protrude 
rough  and  rugged  blocks  of  sandstone.  In  this  still  and 
secluded  valley,  you  might  well  suppose  you  were  '  out 
of  humanity's  reach/  were  it  not  that  you  see  before  you 
the  railway  twisting  its  serpent-like  form  round  the  pro- 
jecting portions  of  the  hills  by  the  side  of  the  stream.  The 
hissing,  puffing,  and  rapid  motion  of  the  wonder-working 
locomotive  along  this  dell,  at  once  tells  you  that  industry 
and  enterprise  have  reached  this  bleak  and  desolate  region. 
These  large  tracts  of  moor  waste  do  little  more  than  afford 
shelter  and  sustenance  to  the  wild  moor  fowl,  which,  in  your 
moorland  rambles,  is  ever  rising  before  you,  uttering  his 
well-known  note,  and  with  rapid  flight  gracefully  skimming 
the  surface  of  the  heathery  heights,  whilst  their  rocky 
interior  teems  with  minerals  more  valuable  than  gold." 

It  is  to  the  officers  of  the  Geological  Survey  that  we  owe 
our  most  accurate  knowledge  of  the  moorland  strata,  and 
in  the  series  of  maps  and  memoirs  dealing  with  North- 
Eastern  Yorkshire,  we  have  an  invaluable  store  of  authentic 
data  for  the  solution  of  the  various  problems  presented  by 
the  geology  of  the  district.  In  1892  appeared  the  late  Mr. 
Fox-Strangway's  monograph  on  the  "  Jurassic  Rocks  of 
Yorkshire,"  which,  besides  gathering  together  the  results 
obtained  by  earlier  workers  and  the  Survey,  also  gives  a 
brief  description  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands  from  an  agri- 
cultural point  of  view.  The  author  also  deals  with  the 
scenery  of  the  district  and  its  origin.  Moreover,  the  Survey 
was  the  first  to  give  information  on  the  peat  deposits 
of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  and  frequently  in  the  sheet 
memoirs  the  officers  refer  to  the  vegetation  of  the  moors. 

The  Sedgwick  Prize  Essay  of  the  University  of  Cambridge 
in  1900  was  Mr.  F.  R.  Cowper  Reed's  "  Geological  History 


'  by] 

Fig.  2. — Newton  Dale  from  Piffel  Head.  [Frank  i 

,  by]  Fig.   ;.     High  Stoni    Dyke,  Castleton  Ridge.         [Frank  i 


of  the  Rivers  of  East  Yorkshire,"  which,  though  not  dealing 
with  the  moors,  is,  nevertheless,  of  invaluable  assistance 
in  enabling  us  to  understand  the  origin  of  their  scenery. 

Another  very  important  advance  in  our  knowledge  of  the 
Eastern  Moorlands  was  made  when  Professor  P.  F.  Kendall, 
of  the  Leeds  University,  published  his  "  System  of  Glacier 
Lakes  in  the  Cleveland  Hills  "  in  the  Quarterly  Journal  of 
the  Geological  Society  for  1902.  This  paper,  apart  from  the 
special  problems  it  elucidates,  has  been  of  great  service 
in  settling  the  conflicting  opinions  with  regard  to  the 
Ice  Age  so  far  as  it  concerns  the  district,  a  geological  period, 
which,  as  we  shall  hereafter  see,  is  of  the  utmost  significance 
in  the  botanical  and  zoological  history  of  the  moorlands. 

In  191 1,  Dr.  W.  G.  Smith  gave  a  brief  account  of  the  vege- 
tation in  Tansley's  "  Types  of  British  Vegetation,"  the 
first  actual  account  of  the  moors  as  such  that  has  hitherto 
appeared.  Dr.  Smith,  as  a  member  of  the  Central  Committee 
for  the  Survey  and  Study  of  British  Vegetation,  has 
botanically  surveyed  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  but  his 
results  have  not  yet  been  published.  It  should  be  here 
added  that  Dr.  W.  G.  Smith's  brother,  the  late  Robert 
Smith,  began  the  botanical  survey  of  this  country  by 
recording  the  different  types  of  vegetation  (moors,  fens, 
woods,  etc.)  upon  maps  showing  the  distribution  of  the 
various  plant-associations. 

Before  beginning  our  account  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands, 
it  will  be  as  well  to  lay  before  the  reader  some  idea  of  the 
method  and  scope  of  this  work,  in  order  that  he  may  be 
better  able  to  follow  its  argument. 

A  detailed  description  of  the  antiquities  of  the  moors 
does  not  fall  within  the  compass  of  these  pages.  Neverthe- 
less, as  the  human  aspects  are  the  first  to  attract  notice, 
we  shall  briefly  survey  the  roads,  stones,  crosses,  howes 
and  other  objects,  many  of  which  date  back  to  early 
times,  and  yield  indications  of  the  state  of  the  moorlands 
at  the  time  of  their  construction. 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

The  most  salient  feature  of  the  moors  is  their  plant  life. 
Consequently,  this  will  next  receive  attention,  not  from  a 
floristic  but  from  an  ecological  standpoint.  That  is  to  say, 
instead  of  giving  a  list  of  species  found  in  various 
localities,  we  shall  describe  how  the  species  are  grouped 
together  to  form  different  types  of  moors — Heather  Moor, 
Cotton  Grass  Moor,  Grass  Moor,  etc.,  their  distribution 
and  their  conditions  of  life.  The  ecological  method  of 
studying  the  plants  necessitates  an  investigation  into  the 
character  and  origin  of  moorland  soils,  the  growth  and 
formation  of  peat  beds,  and  the  development  of  moors.  In 
this  section  of  the  work,  special  attention  will  be  devoted 
to  the  interesting  problem  as  to  whether  the  Eastern  Moor- 
lands were  ever  covered  with  woods  and  forests. 

We  shall  then  pass  to  a  consideration  of  the  Ice  Age, 
since  that  great  geological  episode  has  had  a  profound 
influence  upon  the  history  of  the  moorland  fauna  and  flora, 
and  has  left  traces  of  a  most  striking  and  unique  character 
in  the  scenery  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire.  A  clear  com- 
prehension of  that  epoch  will  prepare  the  way  for  a  discussion 
on  the  origin  of  the  principal  moorland  plants,  which  will  be 
reached  by  an  examination  of  their  geographical  distribu- 
tion and  geological  history. 

We  shall  next  turn  to  the  geological  history  of  the  dis- 
trict, one  of  the  most  potent  factors  in  determining  the 
origin  of  the  moors.  First,  we  shall  glance  at  the  nature 
of  the  moorland  rocks,  and  observe  the  influence  they  have 
upon  the  vegetation.  An  attempt  will  also  be  made  to 
indicate  the  causes  which  have  resulted  in  the  present  scenic 
features  of  the  uplands  :  the  formation  and  origin  of  the 
massif,  the  great  dales,  and  those  picturesque  ranges,  the 
Cleveland,  Hambleton,  and  Tabular  Hills. 

Finally,  we  shall  treat  of  the  animal  life  or  fauna  of  the 
moors,  so  far  as  present  knowledge  will  allow.  In  this 
section,  the  haunts  and  habits  of  moorland  birds  and  insects, 
their  history  and  origin,  and  their  effects  upon  and  relation 



to  the  plant  life  will  be  examined.  We  shall  pay  special 
attention  to  the  problem  of  the  origin  of  the  Red  Grouse,  and 
its  remarkable  changes  of  plumage. 

The  scope  of  this  work  is  to  exhibit  the  interdependence 
of  all  aspects  of  the  moors  :  their  antiquities,  plants,  rocks, 
insects,  stones,  birds,  and  climate  form  a  coherent  whole 
which  cannot  be  fully  understood  unless  all  are  con- 
sidered. We  shall  regard  the  moors  as  a  unique  assemblage 
of  factors  of  intense  interest,  which  owe  their  present  status 
to  innumerable  causes  that  have  been  operating  for  ages. 
In  other  words,  we  shall  follow  that  sequence  of  events  which 
has  led  to  the  evolution  of  the  moorlands  of  North-Eastern 



OF  the  many  approaches  to  the  moorlands  of  North- 
Eastern  Yorkshire,  the  grandest  and  most  im- 
pressive is  through  Newton  Dale.  Leaving  the 
old  town  of  Pickering  for  Goathland  or  Whitby, 
the  traveller  from  York,  whose  journey  has 
just  made  him  acquainted  with  the  fertility  of  the  Vale  of 
Pickering,  soon  finds  himself  in  a  totally  different  region. 
The  low-lying  plain  of  the  Vale  with  its  distant  hills  is 
almost  immediately  succeeded  by  the  deep,  narrow  gorge 
of  Newton  Dale,  which,  towards  the  north,  penetrates  into 
the  heart  of  that  elevated  tract  of  country  sometimes  spoken 
of  as  the  Eastern  Moorlands,  and  referred  to  by  Camden  in 
his  "  Britannia  "  (1607),  in  the  following  words  : — "  That 
which  lieth  east  and  towards  the  sea  is  called  Black-a-more, 
that  is  the  black  moorish  land." 

Passing  northwards,  Newton  Dale  gradually  increases  in 
depth,  and  from  being  a  well-cultivated  valley  in  its  lower 
reaches,  becomes  in  its  higher  parts  a  scene  of  wildness  and 
grandeur.  The  flat  floor  of  the  gorge,  and  the  steep  sides 
clothed  with  great  woods  of  Pine,  Oak  and  Birch,  are  tra- 
versed by  no  regular  road.  Occasional  areas  of  cultivation, 
scattered  cottages,  and  rough  footpaths  by  the  railway, 
indicate  even  to-day  the  isolation  and  comparative  im- 
penetrability of  this  great  valley — the  gateway  to  the  moors 
(see  frontispiece).  At  the  old  mill  of  Raindale,  the  gorge 
which  has  so  far  trended  almost  due  north  for  eight  miles 
begins  to  wind  in  a  series  of  immense  curves.  On  the 
western  side,  below  a  great  wall  of  precipitous  sandstone 
cliffs,  a  steep  and  irregular  slope  of  debris  covered  with  a 
broken  scrub  rises  from  the  floor  to  an  elevation  of  two  or 



three  hundred  feet.  On  the  eastern  side  there  are  similar 
slopes,  similar  mural  precipices  in  the  form  of  bold  nabs,  but 
above  the  latter  towers  the  impressive,  flat-topped  escarp- 
ment of  the  Tabular  Hills,  though  not  at  this  point  forming 
the  immediate  side  of  the  dale.  The  heart  of  the  moors 
is  reached  here  ;  all  signs  of  cultivation  have  disappeared  ; 
we  are  at  the  head  of  the  valley,  at  Fen  Bogs.  Its  floor 
is  swamp  and  morass  ;  its  slopes  are  almost  vertical ; 
streams  fall  over  the  cliffs  ;  and  canon-like,  Newton  Dale 
cuts  through  the  wide  spreading  moors  of  Goathland  (Figs 
i  and  2). 

Let  us  ascend  the  steep  slopes  of  the  valley — on  reaching 
the  summit,  the  great  moorlands,  on  which  so  many  storms 
have  beaten,  and  on  which  so  many  sunsets  have  glowed, 
lie  in  every  direction,  impressive  in  their  elevation,  their 
vegetation,  and  the  manner  in  which  they  are  intersected 
by  deep,  cultivated  dales.  At  once  we  are  under  the  in- 
fluence of  those  ampler  spaces  that  we  have  lost  sight  of  in 
the  narrow  ways  of  cities.  We  renew  a  spirit  of  freedom 
born  of  the  open  sky,  the  pure  air,  and  the  uninhabited  land. 

To  the  student  of  nature  these  heather-clad  wastes 
possess  a  fascination  and  interest  of  an  unusual  kind. 
Although  woods,  fields  and  lanes  have  their  own  peculiar 
charms,  they  have  not  the  special  charm  of  the  moors. 
In  the  former,  man  has  altered  the  primitive  aspects  of  the 
country  to  a  very  considerable  extent.  Not  so  with  the 
moors  which  for  long  periods  have  been  comparatively 
little  interfered  with,  and  where  we  find  animals  and  plants 
living  under  natural  conditions.  They  have  not  remained 
entirely  unchanged  ;  roads  have  been  made  across  them  ; 
they  are  used  as  game  preserves  ;  and  they  are  periodically 
burnt  and  "  graved."  But  with  these  exceptions,  the  moors 
of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  still  offer  some  of  those  original 
aspects  of  nature  which,  in  England,  are  rapidly  disappearing 
with  the  growth  of  population  and  industry. 

The  most  striking  feature  of  the  moors  is  that  they  are 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

almost  exclusively  clothed  with  one  species  of  plant — 
Heather.  Familiarity  with  this  remarkable  phenomenon 
makes  us  rather  apt  to  overlook  its  wonderful  character. 
What  are  we  to  think  of  the  moor,  that  dark  heath  vegetation 
with  its  cold  peaty  soil  enriched  only  in  August  by  a  great  robe 
of  purple  ?  Consider  the  untold  millions  of  Heather  flowers 
that  for  thousands  of  years  have  bloomed  and  died  on  the 
moors  ;  it  is  impossible  to  conceive  or  imagine  their  number. 
Is  it  not  an  extraordinary  fact  that  so  large  an  area  should 
be  covered  with  such  a  plant  carpet  ?  And  how  much  more 
astonishing  does  this  phenomenon  become  when  we  reflect 
upon  the  extensive  tracts  clothed  by  Heather,  not  only  in 
Britain  but  on  the  Continent.  The  very  abundance  of 
Heather  blinds  us  to  its  importance,  for  as  an  aspect  of  plant 
life,  moors  are  just  as  remarkable  as  the  vegetation  of 
tropical  lands.  If,  unacquainted  with  moors,  we  were 
told  by  travellers  of  extensive  regions  overgrown  with 
dwarf,  shrubby  plants,  possessing  myriads  of  purple  flowers, 
giving  a  definite  colour  to  many  square  miles  of  the  earth's 
surface,  we  should  express  our  surprise  at  their  discovery. 
Yet  such  is  the  character  of  our  moorlands,  so  delightful  in 
their  expansiveness,  though  presenting  to  the  casual 
observer  a  general  uniformity  which  veils  phenomena  of 
surpassing  interest. 

Why  are  the  moors  so  largely  covered  with  Heather  and  not 
with  trees  or  other  plants  ?  Why  does  this  vegetation 
prevail  over  such  wide  areas  ?  What  have  been  the  past, 
and  what  are  the  present  conditions  of  life  upon  these 
stony  uplands  ?     In  other  words,  what  causes  the  moors  ? 

A  complete  reply  to  these  queries  cannot  be  given  at  the 
outset,  but  in  some  of  the  most  familiar  aspects  of  the  moors, 
such  as  are  likely  to  attract  the  attention  of  anyone  who 
has  never  previously  been  upon  them,  we  have  indications 
of  their  nature,  as  far  back  as  two  or  three  thousand  years 
ago.  Not  only  shall  we  comment  on  these  aspects,  but  we 
shall  keep  before  us  the  evidence  they  yield  as  to  the  state 



of  the  heather-clad  uplands  at  or  before  the  dawn  of  his- 

The  moors  are  traversed  by  characteristic  and  often  very 
stony  roads,  the  more  conspicuous  of  which  undulate 
through  the  dark  green  Heather  to  the  summits  of  distant 
riggs,  and  are  thrown  by  their  light  colour  into  vivid  con- 
trast with  the  sombre  vegetation  (Figs.  7  and  8).  From  these 
moorland  highways  rough  cart  roads  diverge,  and  in  their 
turn  merge  into  well-defined  footpaths  that  are  ultimately 
lost  in  obscure  sheep  walks.  We  find  the  evolution  of  the 
roads  clearly  indicated  upon  the  moors,  and  there  can  be  no 
doubt  that  the  better  class  highways  have  developed  in  the 
course  of  centuries  from  mere  tracks  amongst  the  Heather. 
When  these  tracks  were  first  made,  we  have  no  means  of 
ascertaining,  but  a  few  may,  perhaps,  be  traced  back  to  the 
Bronze  Age,  if  not  to  the  Neolithic  Age.  This  we  infer 
from  the  circumstance  that  some  ways  travel  from  one 
moorland  Howe  or  tumulus  of  the  Bronze  Age  to  another. 
The  most  striking  instance  occurs  on  Sleights  and  Widow 
Howe  Moors,  where  the  high  road  from  Whitby  to  Pickering 
after  leaving  Sleights,  first  passes  Flat  Howe,  Pen  Howe,  and 
Bracken  Howe.  At  the  latter  an  old  road  branches  to  the 
south-east  by  an  unnamed  tumulus  to  Robbed  Howe,  Foster 
Howes,  Ann  Cross  Howe  and  Louven  Howe  to  Lilla  Howe. 
Other  roads  also  run  past  tumuli,  which  may  be  either  close 
to  the  road,  or  at  some  little  distance  from  it.  Among  these 
may  be  mentioned  the  highway  from  Ingleby  Greenhow  to 
Kirby  Moorside,  which  passes  Burton  Howe,  and  Three  Howes 
and  Obtrusch  Rook  (a  large  tumulus)  on  Rudland  Ridge. 

We  know  that  the  Howes  date  back  to  the  Bronze  Age, 
probably  three  thousand  years  ago,  and  in  some  cases  even 
earlier,  and  being  such  conspicuous  landmarks,  they 
would  naturally  be  selected  as  points  to  be  gained  in 
crossing  the  moors,  and  thus  in  time  a  well-defined  path 
would  be  formed  from  one  burial  mound  to  another.  I  am 
inclined,  however,  to  suspect  that  the  original  tracks  are 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

older  than  some  of  the  tumuli,  particularly  in  the  case  of 
the  old  road  just  described,  and  that  these  Howes  may  them- 
selves have  been  erected  along  an  ancient  Neolithic  path. 
It  is  not  likely  that  we  shall  ever  be  able  definitely  to  trace 
Neolithic  routes  over  the  moors,  since  within  the  confines 
of  the  Eastern  Moorlands,  remains  of  the  Neolithic  period 
are  scarce. 

On  glancing  at  the  map  we  find  that  north  of  the  river 
Esk,  the  highway  between  Whitby  and  Guisborough  tra- 
verses the  moors,  and  roads  branch  from  it  into  Eskdale. 
South  of  this  valley  there  are  two  first-class  moorland 
roads,  one  between  Sleights  and  Pickering,  and  the  other 
between  Whitby  and  Scarborough,  together  with  the  fol- 
lowing secondary  lines  of  communication  between  the  Esk- 
dale villages  and  those  on  the  northern  side  of  the  Vale  of 
Pickering — Battersby  to  Kirby  Moorside,  along  Rudland 
Rigg  ;  Castleton  to  Kirby  Moorside,  along  Castleton  and 
Blakey  Riggs  ;  Danby  to  Rosedale  and  Kirby  Moorside  ; 
Lealholm  to  Rosedale  and  Hutton-le-Hole  ;  Egton  to  Rose- 
dale  ;  Egton  to  Pickering  and  others  of  less  note. 

As  a  rule,  these  roads  run  along  the  ridges  between  the 
dales,  but  few  of  the  roads  in  the  latter  ascend  to  the  head 
of  the  valley  and  there  rise  to  the  moors,  though  this  is 
the  case  in  Glaisdale.  Usually  the  dale  roads  branch  off 
from  some  central  point — such  as  Church  Houses  in  Farn- 
dale,  and  Rosedale  Abbey  in  Rosedale — to  join  the  moor 
highways  ;  or  they  circle  round  the  slopes  at  some  little 
distance  from  the  dale  head.  The  most  remarkable  fea- 
ture is  the  absence  of  any  direct  road  across  the  moors  from 
west  to  east,  and,  in  order  to  traverse  the  district  in  this 
direction,  a  circuitous  route  must  be  followed.  Bearing 
in  mind  the  principle  governing  the  origin  of  roads,  that 
they  take  lines  of  least  resistance,  we  can  understand  why 
those  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  run  as  they  do.  If 
treeless,  the  moors  would  naturally  be  selected  in  early 
times  as  affording  easy  routes,  and  their  elevation  would 




command  views  of  the  surrounding  country.  At  a  later 
period,  roads  would  arise  in  the  dales  as  fast  as  settlements 
were  established  and  clearings  made  ;  and  since  the  upper 
parts  would  probably  be  the  last  areas  to  be  brought  under 
cultivation,  we  have  a  likely  reason  why  the  roads  should 
circle  along  the  slopes  around  the  dale  heads. 

That   the  ridgeways  have    been  evolved    from   ancient 
tracks  is  confirmed  by  the  fact  that  many  of  them  intersect 
old  earthworks,  such  as  High  Stone  Dyke  on  Castleton  Rigg, 
shown  in  Fig.  3.     Ancient  entrenchments,  made  of  stones 
and  earth,  almost  invariably  cross  the  ridges  dividing  the 
northern  dales,  and  as  the  roads  from  Eskdale  to  the  Vale 
of  Pickering  follow  these  ridges,  the  earthworks  are  severed 
by  them.     One  certain  inference  may  be  drawn  from  the 
position  of  these  earthworks.     They  indicate  that  at  the 
time  they  were  erected,  the  ridges  were  used  for  travelling 
upon,  and  as  lines  of  military  advance.     The  oldest  known 
moorland  road  of  historic  times  is  Wade's  Causeway  or 
"  Causey,"  now  disused.     Constructed  about  a.d.  86,  during 
Agricola's  command  of  the  Roman  legions  in  Britain,  it 
runs  northwards  from  the  Roman  Camps  at  Cawthorn  near 
Pickering,    and    traverses    the    Pickering    and    Wheeldale 
Moors.     The  road  crosses  Wheeldale  Gill,  skirts  the  eastern 
side  of  the  Murk  Esk  Valley,  and  probably  fords  the  River 
Esk  near  Grosmont.     Writing  of  this  road,  Mr.  Codrington 
says  : — "  Wade's  Causeway  exhibits  the  gradual  destruction 
of  a  paved  Roman  road  in  operation.      On  the  moors  away 
from  '  intakes  '  or  enclosures,  the  paving  is   to   be   found 
beneath  a  few  inches  of  soil  very  much  as  it  was  when  Roman 
traffic  on  it  ceased.     Where  pieces  of  the  moor  have  been 
enclosed,  the  stones  of  the  paving  have  been  taken  up  for 
building  walls,  both  from  the  road  within  the  intake  and 
for  some  distance  outside.     On  the  unenclosed  moor  enough 
is  left  to  be  mapped  as  traces  of  a  Roman  road,  but  within 
the  intake  cultivation  soon  obliterates  all  traces."* 

*  "  Roman  Roads  in  Britain,"  p.  166. 

17  B 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Furthermore,  the  Roman  road  severs  an  old  British 
earthwork  which  crosses  the  moors  west  of  Goathland  at 
Randay  Mere  (Fig.  30).  When  the  legions  threw  up  their 
great  camps  at  Cawthorn,  it  would  probably  be  a  moot 
point  with  the  natives  of  the  dales  as  to  which  route  the 
Romans  would  take  over  the  moors,  and  it  may  reasonably 
be  surmised  that  in  order  to  check  their  advance,  earth- 
works were  erected  across  the  most  likely  lines  of  march — 
the  ridges  dividing  the  dales.  There  is  no  evidence  of  any 
other  moorland  road  being  Roman,  and  this  by  cutting  the 
old  dyke  at  Randay  Mere,  supports  the  opinion  expressed 
by  the  late  Rev.  E.  Maule  Cole,  of  Wetwang,  that  many  of  the 
Wold  entrenchments  were  erected  to  oppose  the  Roman 
invaders,  for  they  are  intersected  by  the  Roman  roads.* 

The  late  Canon  Atkinson,  in  "  Forty  Years  in  a  Moorland 
Parish,"  held  the  view  that  as  a  series  of  defences  can  be 
traced  from  Eston  Hills  over  the  north  Cleveland  moors  to 
the  entrenchments  in  question,  they  may  indicate  the  ad- 
vance of  some  large  body  of  invaders  southwards  from  the 
Tees.  Whether  this  hypothesis,  and  Canon  Atkinson 
regarded  it  as  nothing  more,  be  finally  verified  or  not,  it  is 
immaterial  to  the  theory  we  have  advanced  above.  In  these 
pages  we  are  not  so  much  concerned  with  the  identity  of 
the  builders  of  the  earthworks  as  to  show  that  many  cen- 
turies ago  the  moors  were  traversed  by  roads  because  they 
were  more  or  less  open  and  treeless.  It  is  possible  that  the 
ancient  fortifications  date  back  to  pre-Roman  times,  in 
which  case  the  ridgeways  must  necessarily  be  as  old,  if  not 
older.  Most  of  the  earthworks  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 
require  to  be  investigated  before  any  definite  conclusions 
can  be  arrived  at  concerning  their  origin  and  purpose. 

In  some  instances,  the  present  roads  have  changed  their 
position  on  the  ridges  during  the  lapse  of  centuries.  The  road 
along  Glaisdale  Rigg  from  Lealholm  to  Rosedale  Abbey, 
has  parallel  to  it  on  its  eastern  side  an  old  way  sunk  into 

*  Proceedings  of  the  Y.G.S.,  Vol.  XI.,  1888,  p.  49. 



the  moor  and  overgrown  with  Heather,  the  ancient  guide 
stones  still  standing  near  the  neglected  track. 

Other  causeways,  often  paved  with  stones,  Canon  Atkin- 
son considered  to  be  of  considerable  antiquity  as  they  lead 
to  the  Bow  Bridges  across  the  Esk.  For  example,  Pan- 
nierman's  Causeway  traversing  Danby  Low  Moor,  leads 
to  Danby  Castle  Bow  Bridge,  or  to  the  now  destroyed 
Castleton  Bow  Bridge,  both  of  the  fourteenth  century. 
A  bridle  path  on  Moorsholm  Moor,  the  Quaker's  Causeway, 
is  so  named  because  it  was  much  used  by  the  followers  of 
Fox  in  travelling  from  Guisbrough  to  Castleton  in  the  early 
days  of  the  last  century. 

From  early  times  the  course  of  the  moorland  roads  has 
been  indicated  by  standing  stones,  especially  where  branch 
roads  diverge,  though  now,  when  the  highways  are  in  such 
good  condition,  these  stones  have  lost  their  former  use- 
fulness, except  perhaps,  in  snowy  weather.  At  the  period 
of  their  erection  their  utility  would  be  great,  for  an  obscure 
track  over  the  dark  moors  would  be  easily  lost  if  there  was 
no  conspicuous  object,  a  Howe,  or  a  stone,  to  indicate  the 
right  path.  In  most  cases  standing  stones  serve  as  paro- 
chial boundary  marks,  and  they  have  usually  been  shaped 
by  man,  but  sometimes  large  slabs  lying  upon  the  moor  have 
been  upended  for  the  same  purpose.  Other  stones  indicate 
the  scene  of  some  unfortunate  death  upon  the  inhospitable 
moors  in  the  depth  of  winter,  whilst  others  may  even  be 
pre-historic,  and  date  back  to  the  later  Stone  Age.  But  for 
whatever  purpose  erected,  these  stones  or  "  meres  "  often 
bear  the  most  singular  names.  Among  the  more  remarkable 
are  the  following  : — Tranmire  or  Old  Beckwith  Stone,  Good 
Goose  Thorn,  Nelson  Stone,  Blue  Man  in  the  Moss,  Three 
Lords'  Stones,  Water  Dittins,  Harlow  Bush,  Ticksey  Howe, 
Grey  Hall  Stone,  and  so  on  in  great  variety.  A  number 
possess  feminine  names,  Jenny  Bradley  on  Ingleby  Moor, 
the  Margery  Stone  near  Blakey,  the  Nan  Stone  on  Easington 
High  Moor,  and  Slavering  Ciss  on  Newton   Mulgrave   Moor 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

being  instances.  It  would  take  us  out  of  our  way  to  discuss 
the  origin  and  meaning  of  these  cognomens,  a  task  which  may 
be  left  to  the  student  of  place-names.  In  Fig.  3  a  white- 
marked  stone  stands  on  the  old  earthwork,  and  with  others, 
indicates  the  boundary  between  the  parishes  of  Danby 
and  Westerdale. 

Pre-historic  stones  are  not  numerous  on  the  moors,  or 
rather  they  cannot  always  be  identified  with  certainty,  as 
most  of  them  do  not  possess  any  artificial  markings  which 
would  conclusively  establish  such  an  origin.     Cup  and  ring 
engravings  furnish  an  infallible  indication  of  their  ancient 
British  origin,  and  according  to  the  late  Mr.  J.  R.  Mortimer, 
such  carved  stones  have  formerly  been  portions  of  slabs 
derived    from    ancient    Kist-vaens    or    burial    chambers.* 
The  same  authority  also  arrives  at  the  conclusion  that  the 
far-famed  Killing  Pits,  near  Goathland,  are  simply  due  to  the 
quarrying  of  large  stone  slabs  to  make  sepulchral  chambers 
and  boundary  "  meres,"  either  in  ancient  or  modern  times. 
A  pre-historic  monolith  is  to  be  seen  on  the  moors  not 
far  from  Ugthorpe  Mill,  but  the  most  remarkable  stones 
known  to  me  occur  on  Temple  Beald  Hill  on  Black  Dyke 
Moor,  north  of  the  village  of  Lealholm.      Here,  on  a  slight 
elevation  between  two  boggy  valleys,  a  quincunx  arrange- 
ment of  ancient  menhirs  has  been  converted  into  a  cross- 
shaped  beald  or  sheep  shelter,  shown  on  the  annexed  dia- 
gram.    Originally,  the  site  appears  to  have  been  occupied 
by  five  stones  which  are  from  four  to  five  feet  high  ;   those  at 
C,  D  and  in  the  centre,  being  thin  and  flat,  and  roughly  shaped, 
whilst  the  two  remaining  stones  at  A  and  B  are  more  regular 
and  rectangular  in  form.     High  stone  walls  at  a  later  period 
have  been  built  between  the  ancient  stones  ;   the  wall  from 
A  to  B  is  straight,  and  about  thirty-five  yards  long  ;    and 
the  wall  from  C  to  D  decidedly  curved  and  about  twenty-two 
yards  in  length.     This  arrangement  of  the  walls  gives  ample 
shelter  to  the  moor  sheep,  and  at  one  time  the  centre  was 
*  Proceedings  of  the  Yorks.  Geol.  Soc,  Vol.  XIII.,  p.  146. 






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Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

partly  roofed  in — the  timbers  of  an  old  thatch  still  lie  in  an 
irregular  manner  across  the  central  angles. 

That  the  five  stones  are  of  pre-historic  origin  is  highly 
probable,  seeing  that  the  central  one  has  distinct  cup-like 
markings  at  the  top  of  the  only  side  visible.  The  name 
Temple,  too,  is  suggestive  of  some  ancient  circle  of  stones, 
for  whatever  purpose  constructed.  It  may  also  be  remarked 
that  the  four  stones  are  not  built  into  the  ends  of  the  walls, 
but  stand  off  a  few  inches  in  distinct  hollows  in  the  ground. 

Temple  Beald  is  the  simplest  type  of  stone  circle  upon  the 
moors,  where  they  are  far  from  common.  One  of  the  best- 
preserved  stands  on  Hardhurst  Moor,  west  of  Hayburn 
Wyke,  a  plan  of  which  is  shown  in  Fig.  4a. 

Intimately  associated  with  both  roads  and  stones  are  the 
celebrated  crosses  of  which  a  considerable  number  still 
exist  within  the  confines  of  the  moorlands.  Of  these,  per- 
haps the  best  known  are  Ralph  Cross,  Lilla  Cross  (Fig.  70) 
Mauley  Cross,  White  Cross  on  Danby  Low  Moor,  another 
White  Cross  at  Rosedale  Head,  locally  termed  "  Fat  Betty  " 
(Fig.  6),  Malo  Cross,  Percy  Cross,  and  Ana  Cross.  In  many 
instances  the  original  cross  has  long  ago  disappeared,  and 
has  been  replaced  by  a  more  modern  erection  or  by  a  simple 
stone.  Job  Cross  on  Moorsholm  Moor  (Fig.  5),  is  one  of  the 
latter,  the  socketed  base  being  the  only  remaining  portion 
of  the  old  cross.  There  are  two  Ralph  Crosses — "  Young  " 
Ralph  and  "  Old  "  Ralph  ;  the  former  stands  at  Rosedale 
Head,  where  the  road  from  that  valley  diverges  to  Wester- 
dale  and  Castleton,  whilst  the  latter  stands  amidst  the 
Heather  about  two  or  three  hundred  yards  to  the  west.. 
Lilla  Cross  is  mentioned  as  one  of  the  boundaries  of 
Whitby  Strand  in  the  charter  of  Henry  I.,  quoted  in 
the  introduction. 

It  seems  likely  that  many  crosses  served  the  same  purpose 
as  the  stones,  and  indicated  the  position  of  boundaries 
or  acted  as  landmarks  on  the  pilgrim  routes  between  the 
great  monastic  houses  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  but   it 



must  be  admitted  that  we  possess  no  very  definite  knowledge 
regarding  their  exact  significance. 

Though  antiquities  of  the  Romans  or  the  Middle  Ages 
are  scarce,  the  same  cannot  be  said  of  the  relics  of  the  Bronze 
Age.  If  we  follow  the  line  of  a  moorland  ridge  projected 
against  the  sky,  its  regular  slope  will,  in  many  instances, 
be  interrupted  by  a  mound  rising  from  the  general  level 
(see  photograph  of  Loose  Howe,  Fig.  40).  This  mound  may 
be  semi-circular  in  outline,  or  it  may  be  flattened  on  the  top, 
and  it  indicates  the  site  of  a  Howe  or  tumulus  of  which 
there  are  hundreds  scattered  over  the  Eastern  Moorlands, 
some  being  situated  on  the  highest  points  of  the  Cleveland 
Hills.  Dating  back  to  the  Bronze  Age,  the  Howes,  when 
investigated,  have  usually  been  found  to  contain  cinerary 
urns  of  crude  pottery,  enclosing  the  ashes  of  some  dead 
chief  of  the  Celtic  tribes  which  formerly  inhabited  the  dis- 
trict. More  rarely,  weapons  of  stone  and  flint  occur  with 
the  urns,  and  very  occasionally,  bronze  implements  have 
been  discovered. 

No  apparent  order  in  the  position  of  the  tumuli  seems  to 
have  been  followed  by  those  who  erected  them,  for  they 
occur  almost  everywhere  within  the  confines  of  Black-a- 
more,  and  yet,  in  their  distribution,  there  are  one  or  two 
peculiarities  which  merit  attention.  Often  enough  two  will 
be  situated  on  a  moorland  spur,  and  then  we  have  a  Two 
Howes  Rigg,  such  as  that  above  the  village  of  Goathland 
(see  map).  On  Egton  High  Moor,  we  have  a  Three  Howes 
Rigg  (Fig.  7),  and  on  Easington  High  Moor,  below  Danby 
Beacon,  three  Howes  of  large  size  bear  a  similar  name,  but 
never  do  we  hear  of  a  Four  or  Five  Howes  Rigg.  Isolated 
tumuli  are  frequent,  and  usually  have  some  special  name 
of  their  own,  such  as  Loose  Howe  (Fig.  40),  Flat  Howe,  Dog 
Howe,  Shunner  Howe,  and  High  Woof  Howe.  Hence, 
though  one  Howe  Riggs  are  numerous,  no  such  name  figures 
in  the  nomenclature  of  the  moors  with  the  exception  of  One 
Howe  (Ana)  Cross  on  Spaunton  Moor. 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

With  regard  to  the  arrangement  of  some  of  the  crowded 
tumuli,  the  late  Mr.  J.  R.  Mortimer,  the  eminent  archaeolo- 
gist of  Driffield,  endeavoured  to  prove  that  star-worship 
prevailed  amongst  the  ancient  inhabitants  of  East  York- 
shire, for  he  thought  that  many  of  the  barrows  or  Howes 
were  arranged  according  to  the  position  of  stars  in  well- 
known  constellations,  especially  Ursa  Major.*  On  Great 
Ayton  Moor,  there  are  numerous  tumuli,  mostly  of  small 
size,  and  some  appear  to  be  arranged  in  the  form  of  the 
Great  Bear,  but  others  are  grouped  indiscriminately.  That 
this  arrangement  was  intentional  I  think  there  can  be  no 
doubt.  Robert  Knox,  in  his  "  East  Yorkshire,"  was  the 
first  to  notice  it  in  this  district  in  the  following  words  which 
are  quoted  in  the  paper  by  Mr.  Mortimer.  "  Near  Ugthorpe 
Rails  (seven  miles  west  of  Whitby)  on  that  side  of  the  Guis- 
brough  Road,  two  stone  pillars  stand  erect,  having  a  cluster 
of  conspicuous  houes  between,  forming  the  figure  of  '  Charles  ' 
Wain '  (in  the  constellation  Ursa  Major)." 

Another  peculiarity  of  the  Howes  is  their  almost  exclusive 
restriction  to  the  moors,  at  any  rate  in  North-Eastern 
Yorkshire.  Very  few  tumuli  exist  on  the  low  grounds  or 
in  the  dales,  and  though  they  may  have  been  destroyed  by 
cultivation,  this  hardly  seems  likely.  It  cannot  be  ques- 
tioned that  the  Howe  builders  had  a  preference  for  the  moors 
as  burial  grounds,  the  highest  points  being  favourite  sites. 
The  reason  they  had  for  their  selection  is  not  at  all  clear, 
but  it  may  have  arisen  from  a  fear  of  ghosts — especially 
those  of  dreaded  chiefs.  Probably  the  ashes  of  important 
men  only  were  interred  in  most  of  the  Howes.  The  popu- 
lation seems  to  have  been  extremely  scanty,  the  number  of 
tumuli  being  hardly  commensurate  with  a  well-inhabited 
district.  These  early  inhabitants,  if  animated  by  an  active 
fear  of  their  dead  chiefs,  would  naturally  remove  their 
remains  to  the  wildest  and  most  unfrequented  parts  of  the 
moors.       A    thin    population  of    North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

♦Proceedings  Yorks.  Geol.  Soc,  Vol.  XIII.,  p.  202,  1896. 














in  pre-historic  times  may  also  be  inferred  from  the  rarity  of 
both  stone,  flint  and  bronze  implements,  as  compared  with 
the  rich  finds  of  these  objects  on  the  Wolds,  a  fact  which 
goes  to  prove  the  wildness  and  inhospitable  character  of  the 
moorland  region  in  those  far-off  times,  and  which  contra- 
dicts the  theory  that  the  moors  then  were  thickly  clothed 
with  trees. 

Before  we  leave  the  antiquities  of  the  moors,  it  will  be 
needful  to  say  a  few  words  concerning  the  so-called  British 
villages — groups  of  circular  pits  or  hollows  which  have  long 
attracted  attention  and  which  have  given  rise  to  endless 
controversies.  The  most  famous  of  these  pits  are  the  fol- 
lowing : — Killing  Pits  near  Goathland,  the  Danby  Low  Moor 
Pits,  the  Stone  Hag  Pits  on  Blakey  Moor,  the  pits  near  the 
village  of  Westerdale,  Holey  Intake  Pits  at  Glaisdale,  the 
Hell  Holes  on  Hawnby  Moor,  and  the  pits  at  Dry  Heads  in 
Harwood  Dale,  as  well  as  others  not  so  conspicuous. 

Ever  since  antiquaries  began  to  study  the  remains  of  pre- 
historic man  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  these  pits  have 
been  regarded  as  dwellings,  though  at  what  period  they  were 
inhabited  early  investigators  do  not  state,  except  by  vaguely 
asserting  that  they  are  British.  If  they  are  pit  dwellings 
at  all,  they  are  probably  of  Neolithic  Age.  Mr.  Clinch  as- 
cribes similar  pits  found  elsewhere  in  the  county  to  that 

The  first  to  throw  doubt  upon  the  habitation  theory  was 
the  late  Mr.  Joseph  Bewick  of  Grosmont,  who  expressed  the 
opinion  that  the  Holey  Intake  Pits  and  the  Killing  Pits 
were  localities  where  ironstone  had  been  worked  in  early 
times,  either  by  open  cast  or  what  is  called  the  '  bell- 
pit  "  fashion,  since  these  holes  occur  on  the  outcrops  of 
seams  of  ore.-j-  This  view  was  also  taken  by  Messrs.  George 
Barrow  and  C.  Fox-Strangways  of  the  Geological  Survey, 
and     by    the    late    Canon    Atkinson    of    Danby.     As    is 

*  Victoria  "  History  of  Yorkshire,"  Karlv  Man. 

t  "  Geological  Treatise  on  the  District  of  Cleveland,  "1861,  pp.  97-100. 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

well-known,  iron  was  extensively  smelted  in  the  dales  in 
past  ages,  as  the  innumerable  slag  heaps  abundantly  testify, 
though  it  must  be  admitted  that  the  "  cinder  hills,"  as  they 
are  called,  do  not  occur  in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  the 
supposed  workings. 

We  have  already  noticed  Mr.  Mortimer's  opinion  with 
regard  to  the  Killing  Pits,  viz.,  that  they  are  old  workings  for 
slabs  of  gritstone,  but  it  is  a  most  remarkable  coincidence 
that  the  Dry  Heads  Pits  and  the  Stone  Hag  Pits  should, 
with  the  Killing  Pits,  be  found  on  the  same  geological 
horizon,  the  Grey  Limestone  Series  of  the  Inferior  Oolite, 
in  which  occurs  an  impure  band  of  nodular  ironstone.  Near 
Castleton  and  near  Hawnby,  there  are  slag  heaps  on  the 
outcrop  of  this  seam,  whilst  on  a  cinder  hill  in  Westerdale 
I  found  a  nodule  of  this  ore,  which  proved  conclusively  that 
it  was  smelted  in  former  times.  Are  we  to  suppose  that 
the  early  inhabitants  accidently  selected  the  site  of  their 
pit  dwellings  and  that  their  occurrence  on  the  outcrop  of  the 
seam  is  pure  coincidence  ?  Or  are  we  to  think  that  they 
carefully  selected  the  sites  in  Harwood  Dale,  Wheeldale 
and  Farndale,  and  that  coincidence  in  these  somewhat 
widely  separated  localities  again  led  to  their  being  situated 
on  the  same  geological  horizon  ?  No!  The  habitation 
theory  is  still  further  weakened  if  we  take  the  case  of  the 
Hell  Holes  on  Hawnby  Moor,  which  also  occur  on  the  same 
stratum.  According  to  the  Geological  Survey,  these  holes 
have  been  formed  in  the  hard  grits  by  the  dissolution  of 
calcareous  strata  below.  But  even  if  this  is  not  their  mode 
of  origin,  and  if  they  are  artificial,  we  again  have  the  coin- 
cidence of  outcrop. 

But  this  is  not  all.  The  Holey  Intake  Pits  are  on  the 
outcrop  of  another  seam  of  ironstone ;  the  Westerdale 
Pits  are  on  the  outcrop  of  the  Main  Seam  of  North  Cleveland, 
whilst  the  Danby  Low  Moor  Pits  occur  just  above  the  out- 
crop of  another  thin  band  of  ore.  Here  is  a  piling  up  of 
evidence,  which,  to  say  the  least,  is  fatal  to  the  pit  dwelling 


Fu;.   7. — Three  Howes,   Egtox  High   Moor.         [Frank  1   ■ 

P)  0  0 

Fig.  8.     Sal  i  ersg  \  1 1    I  nn. 

/  1  ink  Elgee. 


theory.  With  regard  to  the  Danby  Pits,  the  late  Mr.  Mor- 
timer was  of  the  opinion  that  "  they  seem  to  have  a  greater 
claim  to  be  the  remains  of  pit  dwellings  than  any  other  group 
which  has  come  under  my  observation."*  Whilst  we  must 
admit  that  the  opinion  of  such  an  eminent  archaeologist, 
who  examined  the  pits  personally,  carries  great  weight,  we 
cannot  agree  with  him  on  this  point.  Mr.  George  Barrow, 
who  geologically  surveyed  North  Cleveland,  states  that 
"  these  holes  are  more  or  less  full  of  water,  and  must  have 
been  uninhabitable.  Their  position  is  such  that  water 
must  always  be  oozing  through  them."  f  This  is  owing  to  the 
geological  structure  of  the  ground — sandstone  overlying 
shale  ;  water  percolates  through  the  sandstone,  and  is 
thrown  up  by  the  shale,  whilst  the  ironstone  occurs  between 
the  two  beds  and  crops  out  on  the  sides  of  a  hollow  near  the 
pits.  I  have  observed  similar  pits  on  the  same  geological 
horizon  near  Wood  Dale  House  on  Ugthorpe  Moor. 

Thus,  cumulative  evidence  all  points  to  the  pits  having 
been  places  whence  ore  was  obtained  in  ancient  or  mediaeval 
times,  and  this  altogether  apart  from  the  absurd  theory  that 
the  cold  bare  moorlands  were  selected  as  sites  for  habitations 
when  the  great  dales  would  have  afforded  ample  shelter. 
As  a  matter  of  fact,  isolated  hollows  are  far  from  infre- 
quent on  the  moors  ;  some  of  these  may  be  due  to  slabs 
of  stone  having  been  removed  ;  others  may  be  due  to  the 
former  presence  of  standing  stones  which  occasionally  have 
a  hollow  space  around  their  base  ;  whilst  yet  others  may  have 
arisen  through  geological  causes,  the  dissolution  of  cal- 
careous strata,  etc.  It  may  further  be  remarked  th  t  the 
pit  method  is  the  best  that  could  have  been  adopted  in  order 
to  work  thin  seams  of  ironstone.  Drifts  are  impossible 
in  layers  of  ore  only  a  few  inches  thick,  but  by  digging  down 
a  few  feet  in  suitable  situations,  the  ore  can  easily  be  ex- 

*  Proceedings  Yorks.  Geol.  Soc,  Vol.   XIII.,   p.   406,    "  So-called 
British  Habitations  on  Danby  Low  Moor." 
t  "  Geology  of  North  Cleveland,"  p.  59. 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

tracted,  and  in  some  cases  might  even  be  worked  out  round 
the  bottom  in  bell-pit  fashion,  though  this  has  still  to  be 

The  names  associated  with  the  moors  are  well  worthy  of 
attention,  and  quite  apart  from  their  historical  and  philologi- 
cal value,  they  possess  a  novelty  that  will  appeal  to  many 
readers — even  to  those  in  whom  they  arouse  no  correspond- 
ing images  of  the  scenes  they  designate  A  stranger  examin- 
ing a  map  of  the  moorland  region  cannot  but  be  impressed 
with  the  singularity  of  its  nomenclature.  What  is  he  to 
think,  for  instance,  of  such  names  as  Great  Hograh,  Cockan 
Ridge,  Obtrusch  Rook,  and  Coldman  Hargos,  or  such 
names  as  we  have  mentioned  in  connection  with  the  stones  ? 
In  most  cases  the  place-names  cannot  be  understood  until 
laborious  researches  have  been  made  in  old  documents,  local 
dialects  and  philological  works.  We  should  digress  too 
much  if  we  dealt  in  detail  with  them,  but  a  few  remarks 
concerning  some  of  the  more  interesting  will  not  be  out  of 

Many  are  of  Scandinavian  origin,  and  more  or  less  describe 
the  character  of  the  particular  moors  to  which  they  refer. 
Such  is  Murk  Mire  Moor  near  Egton,  the  name  of  which 
has  been  derived  from  the  Old  Norse,  myrkr,  signifying  dark, 
and  myrr,  a  moor  or  boggy  place  ;  in  which  sense  "  mire  " 
is  perpetually  employed  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire.  Again , 
the  word  "  swang  "  is  of  frequent  occurrence — Glaisdale 
Swangs  and  Moss  Swang  (Fig.  28) — a  word  originating  in 
the  old  Norse  soangr,  a  hollow  usually  more  or  less  boggy. 
Then  we  have  "  syke,"  another  term  for  swampy  localities  ; 
"  rook  "  or  "  ruck,"  piles  of  stones  or  turves  ;  "  slacks," 
shallow  valleys ;  "  haggs,"  wild  and  broken  ground  ; 
"  skews,"  small  twisted  valleys  such  as  Hole  Skew  near 
Freeborough  Hill  (Fig.  57).  All  these  are  probably  derived 
from  the  names  bestowed  by  descendants  of  the  Scandinavian 
settlers  of  the  eighth  or  ninth  centuries.  Other  names  not 
necessarily  of  similar  origin  are  also  indicative  of  the  nature 



of  the  moors,  and  of  these  it  needs  but  to  mention  Stony 
Moor,  near  Ne\vton-on-Ra\vcliffe,  a  piece  of  land  literally 
covered  with  sandstone  boulders. 

A  particularly  instructive  name  in  frequent  use  is  "  Grain," 
usually  applied  to  small  streams  rising  in  high  moorland. 
Thus  we  have  Grain  Beck,  the  easterly  branch  of  Baysdale 
(Fig.  53)  ;  another  Grain  Beck  occurs  on  Allerston  High 
Moor,  and  where  it  rises  in  May  Moss  in  two  converging 
streams,  one  of  these  is  termed  Long  Grain  and  the  other 
Little  Grain.  Then  we  have  high  Mossy  Grain  and  Low 
Mossy  Grain,  the  names  of  two  farms  on  the  moor  between 
Scarth  Nick  and  the  Chequers  Inn,  though  they  are  er- 
roneously called  "  grange  "  on  most  maps.  Now  the  word 
Grain,  as  thus  employed,  has  obviously  nothing  whatever 
to  do  with  corn,  but  we  have  a  clue  to  its  application  in  the 
local  dialect  in  which  a  "  grain,"  as  defined  by  Canon 
Atkinson,  means  "  a  separate,  linear  portion  of  a  thing, 
whether  still  attached  to  or  detached  from  the  rest ;  as  the 
branch  of  a  tree,  the  tine  of  a  fork,"- — and  again  the  word 
'  graining  "  signifies  the  fork  or  division  of  a  tree  into 
branches.  He  derives  these  words  from  the  Old  Norse  greina, 
to  divide,  or  the  Swedish  dialect  word  gren,  the  angle  which 
two  branches  of  a  tree  make  with  one  another,  also  the  angle 
made  by  the  thighs.*  Such  being  the  meaning  and  origin 
of  the  word,  its  application  to  streams  is  obvious,  for  it 
will  almost  invariably  be  found  that  Grain  is  used  where  the 
head  waters  of  a  stream  divide  and  shoot  into  the  moor- 
lands. Grain  beck  is  one  of  the  two  branches  of  Baysdale 
Beck,  the  other  being  Black  Beck ;  similarly  with  the 
Grains  at  May  Moss.  The  application  is  clear  in  the  case 
of  Helwarth  Beck,  where  it  divides  near  its  source  at  Pye 
Rigg  on  Staintondale  Moor,  for  the  intervening  ridge  is 
termed  Helwath  Grains.  The  account  of  the  origin  of  this 
word  may  be  taken  as  typical  of  the  manner  in  which  the 

*  "Cleveland  Dialeet,"  p.  222. 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

investigation  of  moorland  place-names  should  be  carried 
out.     Their  origin  cannot  be  discovered  by  guessing. 

Other  names  are  indicative  of  the  former  animal  life 
of  the  district.  Wolf  Pit  Slack  on  Danby  Ridge  and  Hart 
Leap  Gap  on  Glaisdale  Ridge  speak  for  themselves,  whilst 
Swinsow  Dale  near  Freeborough  Hill  was  probably  the 
haunt  of  the  Wild  Boar.  Arnsgill  on  Snilesworth  Mooi 
points  to  the  haunts  of  the  Ern  or  Eagle,  and  that  the  Raven 
was  once  numerous  is  shown  by  such  place  names  as  Raven 
Scar  on  Hasty  Bank,  Raven  Gill,  and  Raven  Stones  on 
Wheeldale  Moor. 

Howe,  too,  is  an  abundant  place  name,  but  has  often 
suffered  contraction  as  Biller  Howe  into  Billery,  Silp  Howe 
into  Silpho,  Brock  or  Brox  Howe  into  Broxa,  and  Blake 
Howe  into  Blakey.  The  coal-mining  operations,  which  used 
to  be  carried  out  so  extensively  on  the  moors  until  even  quite 
recent  times,  have  also  given  a  few  names  to  moorland 
scenes,  Collier  Gill,  Coal  Ridge,  Collier  Lane,  etc. 

Many  moors  take  their  name  from  some  village  or  dale 
in  their  vicinity,  though  Pickering  Moor  lying  to  the  south 
of  Goathland  and  west  of  Newton  Dale  is  several  miles 
from  that  old  rural  town.  Some  names  are  repeated,  e.g., 
there  is  Spaunton  Moor  north  of  Hutton-le-Hole  and  Spaun- 
ton  villages,  and  another  in  the  Vale  of  Pickering  to  the 
south  of  these  places.  When  repeated,  a  moor  name  is 
usually  conjoined  with  the  terms  "  high  "  or  "  low."  In 
the  Esk  Valley,  at  Danby,  the  moor  on  the  North  Cleveland 
watershed  is  called  Danby  Low  Moor,  whilst  that  to  the 
south  on  Danby  Rigg  is  called  Danby  High  Moor.  Altitude 
has  determined  this  appellation  as  the  North  Cleveland 
moors  are  generally  lower  than  the  southern.  In  the  south 
of  Black-a-more,  the  Low  and  High  Moors,  though  deter- 
mined by  elevation,  are  somewhat  differently  situated 
with  regard  to  the  places  whence  they  obtain  their  names. 
Allerston  Low  Moor  lies  to  the  north  of  the  village  of  Aller- 
ston ;  further  north  still,  on  more  elevated  land,  is  Allerston 



High  Moor.  Again,  the  like  nomenclature  prevails  with  the 
moors  of  North  Cleveland,  for  south  of  Roxby  we  find  Roxby 
Low  Moor,  and  nearer  the  watershed  on  higher  ground,  the 
corresponding  High  Moor  which  runs  into  the  afore-men- 
tioned Danby  Low  Moor. 

The  word  "  moor  "  itself  throws  light  upon  the  nature 
of  the  land  at  the  time  when  it  was  applied.  In  old  docu- 
ments the  word  "  Forest  "  means  not  only  country  covered 
with  trees,  but  heathy  land  as  well,  and  the  district  with 
which  we  are  dealing  furnishes  two  instructive  examples  of 
this  use  of  the  word,  viz.  : — the  Forests  of  Pickering  and 
Danby.  But  so  far  as  I  am  aware,  "  moor  "  was  never  used 
in  a  double  sense,  for  the  word  appears  always  to  have  in- 
dicated what  it  does  to-day — heather-clad  land. 

According  to  Canon  Atkinson,  moor  has  another  and 
more  special  meaning.  It  is  used  for  the  Ling  or  Heather 
itself,  particularly  when  in  flower.  At  the  close  of  the 
eighteenth  century,  there  was  a  third  use  of  the  word,  the 
application  of  which  will  be  seen  by  quoting  a  few  lines  from 
that  somewhat  remarkable  and  little-known  work,  Marshall's 
"  Rural  Economy  of  Yorkshire,"  published  in  1796.  Speak- 
ing of  the  Eastern  Moorlands,  he  says  :  '  The  soil  is  in- 
variably a  Black  Moor.  The  moor  of  fens  appears  obviously 
enough  to  be  composed  of  the  decayed  roots  and  other 
parts  of  vegetables,  with  a  greater  or  less  proportion  of 
sand  and  mud,"  whence  it  may  be  inferred  that  "  moor  " 
was  used  as  a  term  for  a  particular  kind  of  soil,  in  which 
sense  Dr.  Young,  in  his  "  History  of  Whitby,"  also  employs 
the  word. 

The  word  is  in  all  essentials  identical  with  the  old  Norse 
mor,  signifying  peat,  turf,  heath  or  Ling,  and  if  we  look  at 
its  meaning  in  the  Gothic  languages  we  shall  find  that  it  is 
everywhere  the  same,  though  with  some  elasticity  in  its 
application.  In  Suio-Gothic,  mor  is  a  marshy  place,  also 
the  undergrowth  in  a  wood  ;  Danish  and  Swedish  mor, 
a  tract  of  fenny  land  ;    Danish  dialect,   moor   or  mor,  land 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

where  turves  may  be  cut ;  Anglo-Saxon  mor,  waste  land, 
a  moor,  heath  ;  Dutch,  moer,  and  German,  moor.  In  the 
last  instance,  however,  the  word  is  usually  applied  to 
marshy  or  swampy  land,  and  not  necessarily  to  land 
covered  with  Heather  for  which  the  word  "  Heide "  is 
generally  used. 

These  meanings  are  instructive,  for  it  is  important  to 
note  that,  with  one  exception,  the  word  moor  is  never 
applied  to  land  covered  with  trees,  and  the  exception  refers 
to  the  undergrowth,  and  not  to  the  wood  itself.  Hence 
we  must  conclude  that  when  our  Scandinavian  ancestors 
began  to  settle  in  the  moorland  districts,  the  moors  then, 
as  now,  were  practically  treeless.  That  the  heather-clad 
uplands  of  North  Yorkshire  should  not  be  called  Heaths 
is  another  significant  fact.  In  the  south  of  England,  the 
worth  Heath  is  everywhere  to  be  met  with,  but  it  occurs 
only  once  in  the  district  we  are  considering,  and  in  this 
instance  it  is  applied  to  a  farm  near  Staintondale — Pro- 
vidence Heath.  Why  the  word  should  not  have  been  used 
we  are  not  in  a  position  to  say.  When  we  bear  in  mind  the 
meaning  of  the  German  words  Heide  and  Moor,  the  latter 
referring  as  a  rule  to  boggy  land,  it  is  possible  that  moor 
has  been  applied  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  on  account  of 
the  generally  wet  character  of  the  uplands,  which  are  in 
marked  contrast  to  the  dry  sandy  heaths  of  southern  Eng- 
land and  other  parts  of  the  country.  On  the  other  hand, 
the  two  words  may  be  indicative  of  racial  differences  in  the 
Teutonic  colonists  of  England — the  word  Moor  being,  as  was 
said  above,  essentially  Scandinavian,  whereas  Heath  may 
be  indicative  of  Germanic  influence. 

The  name  "  Black-a-more,"  which  we  have  selected  for 
the  title  of  the  present  chapter,  is  not  strictly  applicable 
to  the  whole  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands.  It  formerly  de- 
signated that  part  of  the  district  not  included  in  Cleveland, 
viz.,  the  country  south  of  Whitby,  the  central  watershed 
and  the  Cleveland  Hills.     But  the  name  is  so  convenient. 


Pho!o  by] 

Fig.  9. — Turf  Stacks,  Castletox  Ridge. 

[Frank  Elgcc. 

Pltolo  by] 

Fig.  10. — Crowberry  {Empeirutn  nigrum).  [Frank  Ei$ce 


and  so  eminently  descriptive,  that  we  have  not  hesitated 
to  employ  it  in  these  pages  as  a  term  for  the  whole  of  the 
moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  though  it  is  now 
obsolete  even  in  a  restricted  sense.  It  dates  back  to  early 
times  ;  the  first  historical  mention  of  it  occurs  in  the  Chron- 
icle of  John  of  Hexham  (Henry  II.,  1154-1189),  who  states 
that  Rievaulx  Abbey  was  situated  "  in  solitudine  BLACKOU 
MOR."  Leland,  Camden  and  Drayton  are  other  old  writers 
who  use  the  name. 

The  absence  of  villages  and  the  rarity  of  houses  is  a 
negative  feature  which  the  moors  possess,  for  only  here  and 
there  do  we  come  across  a  building  and  then  it  is  usually 
associated  with  small  enclosures  or  other  special  circum- 
stances.    The  moorland  inns  are  noteworthy  ;   we  have  the 
"  Falcon  "  on  Harwood  Dale  Moor,  "  Saltersgate  "  on  the 
Sleights  and  Pickering  high  road  (Fig.  8),  "  St  ape  "  Inn  on 
Pickering  Moor,  and  the  "  Chequers  "  on  Osmotherley  Moor. 
We  may  conclude  from  the  lack  of  moorland  villages — and  by 
these  we  do  not  mean  such  places  as  Goathland,  Lastingham 
or  Castleton,  which  only  touch  the  edges  of  the  heather-clad 
land — that  at  the  time  when  settlements  were  being  formed 
in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  the  heaths  were  wild  and  open 
as  they  now  are,  and  that  if  a  settlement  was  anywhere 
possible  it  was  in  the  dales.     If  the  moors  had  then  been 
forest  land,  it  is  difficult  to  understand  why  villages  or 
hamlets  should  not  have  been  built  upon  them  since  the 
trees  would  have  afforded  ample  shelter. 

There  yet  remain  two  aspects  which  we  must  consider 
before  bringing  this  chapter  to  a  close.  We  refer  to  the 
burning  of  the  moor,  and  the  cutting  of  turves,  both  of 
which  exercise  no  small  influence  upon  the  vegetation  and 
constitute  a  disturbing  factor  in  the  plant  life  of  the  uplands. 
The  burning  of  the  moor  is  known  as  "  swiddening  "  or 
"  swivvening,"  and  to  the  areas  burnt  the  name  "  swidden  " 
is  applied.  Usually  the  Ling  is  fired  during  the  months  of 
March  and  April,  in  order  to  promote  a  young  growth  of 

33  c 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Heather  for  the  Grouse.  The  burning  is  not  done  indis- 
criminately but  spaces  that  have  become  overgrown  with 
tall  Heather  are  first  marked  out,  and  then  carefully  ignited. 
In  the  early  spring  small  fires  may  be  observed  sending  their 
columns  of  smoke  high  above  the  moorland  ridges.  Oc- 
casionally fires  occur,  intentionally  or  accidentally,  upon  a 
larger  scale,  and  they  present  quite  a  grand  spectacle,  the 
flames  roar  over  the  tops  of  the  plants,  and  vast  clouds  of 
smoke  ascend  into  the  air.  Such  a  fire  broke  out  on  Easter 
Sunday,  1909,  on  the  hill  of  Kempswithen  near  Castleton, 
and  only  after  some  hours  of  strenuous  exertion  on  the  part 
of  the  keepers  was  it  finally  extinguished,  leaving  in  its 
track  a  black  cindery  waste,  which  will  be  some  time  before 
it  is  re-clothed  with  vegetation.  Another  large  fire  on  the 
Guisbrough  Moors  in  March  1904,  could  be  seen  at  night  from 
the  sea-shore  near  Redcar,  several  miles  distant. 

Deep  peat  is  sometimes  known  to  catch  fire  and 
smoulder  for  weeks,  and  in  order  to  check  its  progress 
trenches  have  to  be  dug,  and  the  fire  is  allowed  to  burn 
out.  Fires  of  this  nature  have  happened  on  the  peaty 
moors  at  the  heads  of  Glaisdale  and  Iburndale. 

Hardly  any  part  of  the  moors  has  escaped  burning,  and 
everywhere  amongst  the  vegetation  we  meet  with  the  burnt 
Ling  stems  or  "  gouldens  "  as  they  are  termed.  In  Figs. 
40  and  49,  the  grey  "  gouldens,"  so  characteristic  of  old 
swiddens,  are  well  shown  in  the  foreground.  The  impor- 
tance of  regularly  and  carefully  burning  moors  in  order  to 
ensure  the  health  of  Grouse  has  long  been  recognised,  but 
the  reasons  for  this  have  only  recently  been  made  manifest 
by  the  expert  researches  of  the  Committee  of  Inquiry  on 
Grouse  Disease.*  It  appears  that  Grouse  disease  is  due  to 
thread-worms  ( Trichostrongylus  per  gracilis)  which  are  taken 
along  with  the  Heather  shoots  into  the  digestive  system 
of  the  birds,  and  in  their  intestines  the  worms  pair,  and 
lay  eggs  that  pass  out  with  the  droppings.  When  a  moor 
*  "  The  Grouse  in  Health  and  Disease,"  1911. 



gets  overstocked,  the  Heather  becomes  infected  with 
these  thread-worms,  and  the  disease  spreads  rapidly.  The 
Committee  also  established  the  fact  that  rain  and  damp  are 
active  causes  in  promoting  the  disease,  and  that  by  well- 
burning  the  moors,  by  avoiding  overstocking,  and  by  good 
drainage,  much  may  be  done  to  stamp  out  epidemics. 

Burning  the  Ling  is  also  a  preliminary  step  in  turf  graving 
which  takes  place  all  over  the  drier  moors,  usually  between 
hay  time  and  harvest.  A  familiar  moorland  scene  is  the 
pointed  turf  stack  or  "  ruck  "  (Fig.  9),  for  after  the  turves 
or  "  flaughts  "  have  been  cut  they  are  stacked  to  dry,  and 
are  then  used  as  fuel,  for  building  walls,  Grouse  shooting 
stands,  etc.  Those  who  are  unacquainted  with  moorland 
life  frequently  confuse  "  flaughts "  with  "  peats,"  two 
entirely  different  products.  The  "  flaught  "  is  essentially 
a  moorland  sod  containing  much  soil  and  humus,  together 
with  the  roots  of  Ling  and  other  plants.  It  is  always 
taken  off  a  swidden  by  means  of  a  triangular  spit  or 
spade  with  one  edge  turned  up  at  right  angles,  and  with  a 
very  long  shaft.  This  tool  is  forced  into  the  soil  and  the 
thickly  entwined  Heather  roots  by  a  peculiar  action  of  the 
hands  and  thighs,  the  latter  being  protected  by  pieces  of 
wood  called  "  knappers."  On  the  other  hand,  a  "  peat  " 
obtained  from  a  peat-hole,  excavated  in  some  moorland 
Moss  or  slack,  is  usually  more  or  less  brick-shaped,  and 
consists  principally  of  Bog-moss.  It  makes  a  much  better 
fuel  than  the  flaught,  and  for  this  purpose  it  is  alone  used. 

We  have  now  made  ourselves  acquainted  with  many 
features  of  Black-a-more ;  its  roads,  earthworks,  stones, 
crosses,  howes,  and  names.  From  the  course  of  the  roads, 
the  position  of  entrenchments,  the  absence  of  moorland 
villages,  and  the  word  moor  itself,  we  have  concluded  that 
from  early  times,  perhaps  two  or  three  thousand  years 
ago,  the  high  moors  were  never  clothed  with  trees.  The 
significance  of  this  conclusion  has  wider  bearings  which  will 
become  clear  in  the  course  of  our  investigations  into  the 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

botanical  history  of  the  moors,  but  its  importance  for  the 
moment  lies  in  the  fact  that  we  have  deduced  it  from  those 
aspects  of  the  uplands  which  at  first  sight  would  be  thought 
to  throw  no  light  on  such  a  problem.  And  yet  it  will  be 
manifest  that  all  human  works  of  whatever  age  on  the 
moors  must  bear  witness  to  the  conditions  which  existed 
at  the  time  of  their  erection. 



CONSPICUOUS  as  are  those  aspects  we  have  just 
described,  they  are  nevertheless  not  so  con- 
spicuous as  the  Heather,  which  is  such  a  dis- 
tinctive characteristic  of  the  moors  that  we 
propose  to  begin  our  investigation  into  their 
origin  by  a  consideration  of  their  plant  life.  Even  to  those 
who  have  not  made  botanical  geography  a  special  study, 
it  must  be  obvious  that  moors  constitute  a  natural  plant 
community  or  "  formation,"  as  the  German  botanists  call 
it,  comparable  with  other  great  natural  assemblages  of 
plants — forests,  steppes,  tundras,  dunes,  prairies,  swards, 
savannas  and  swamps.  Now  although  Heather  is  the  most 
dominant  plant  of  moorlands,  it  is  but  one  of  a  large  number 
of  species  which  flourish  together  under  similar  conditions 
of  life.  The  term  moor,  therefore,  includes  numerous 
minor  plant  groups  or  associations  characterised  by  the 
dominance  of  a  particular  species.  Thus,  using  moor  in  a 
generic  sense,  we  find  that  it  can  be  divided  into  distinct 
species  or  kinds  : — Heather  Moors,  Cotton  Sedge  Moors, 
and  Grass  Moors,  and  these  in  their  turn  can  be  further 
sub-divided  according  as  the  constituents  of  their  vegetation 
vary.  It  is  important  to  have  a  clear  understanding  of 
what  is  meant  by  plant  associations,  and  in  our  account  of 
the  vegetation  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands  this  great  botanical 
conception  will  be  clearly  exemplified.  The  circumstance, 
too,  that  moors  are  a  natural  plant  community  more  or 
less  untampered  with,  renders  them  of  altogether  excep- 
tional interest  in  a  land  where  almost  everything  natural 
has  been  "  improved  "  away. 

We  shall  first  deal  with  moors  upon  which  Heather  is 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

most  abundant,  taking  them  as  typical  of  moors  in  general 
and  at  the  same  time  we  shall  examine  the  conditions  of 
soil  and  climate  which  lead  to  their  development.  This 
survey  will  enable  us  in  the  succeeding  chapters  to  note 
variations  from  the  typical  moors  and  their  causes,  and  to 
trace  the  botanical  changes  that  have  taken  place  upon 

The  botanist  with  his  plant  associations  has  but  extended 
that  common  knowledge  of  plant  groups  detected  by  our 
observant  forefathers,  who,  more  so  than  ourselves,  were 
in  daily  contact  with  nature,  and  to  whom  a  discrimination 
of  the  elements  of  their  primitive  environment  was  a  neces- 
sity. To  the  untrained  eye  of  the  townsman,  all  heather- 
clad  land  appears  alike.  But  that  experience  of  the  moors 
handed  down  from  the  earliest  settlement  of  North-Eastern 
Yorkshire  has  become  engrained  in  the  residents  of  the 
dales,  and  they  perceive  differences  on  these  wastes  which 
are  of  primary  importance  in  their  natural  history  The 
terms  employed  by  the  dalesmen  in  their  knowledge  of  the 
moors  present  in  rough  outline  the  beginnings  of  a  more 
scientific  and  exact  analysis  of  the  ericetal  vegetation. 
Fat  and  Thin  moors,  Mosses  and  Swangs  are  words  ex- 
pressive of  the  different  kinds  of  moorland,  and  in  selec- 
ting these  terms  for  the  titles  of  our  chapters,  the  intention 
has  been  to  convey  a  conception  of  the  manner  in  which 
the  heather-clad  uplands  of  Black-a-more  are  regarded 
by  men  who  have  spent  their  lives  upon  them. 

When  we  turn  to  the  local  designations  of  the  different 
kinds  of  moors,  we  find  that  botanical  distinctions  are  not 
so  much  in  mind  as  the  nature  of  the  soil,  and  a  local  term 
may  cover  a  variety  of  plant  communities  which  in  a  scienti- 
fic classification  would  be  separated.  Thus  the  term  fat 
moor  embraces  several  distinct  types  of  vegetation  flourish- 
ing upon  a  soil  which  consists  of  blackish  brown  peat  from 
one  to  four  feet  in  thickness,  and  more  or  less  damp  even 
in  the  driest  weather.    The  peat  or  raw  humus  is  rich  and 


The  Fat  Moors 

"  fat  "  as  contrasted  with  the  thinner  deposits  of  the  same 
substance  on  other  moors,  and  in  traversing  a  Heather 
moor  of  this  nature,  one's  feet  sink  perceptibly  into  the 
soft  peat,  which  can  be  kicked  away  from  the  surface. 

The  vegetation  of  many  fat  moors  consists  almost 
exclusively  of  Heather  or  Ling  (Calluna  vulgaris) — the  Cal- 
lunetum  of  the  botanist — and  in  these  instances,  other 
ericetal  plants  rarely  become  dominant,  or  may  even  be 
totally  absent.  On  Kempswithen,  a  ridge  of  high  land 
(960  feet  above  sea  level)  lying  between  Kildale  and  Bays- 
dale,  we  have  a  splendid  example.  Here,  the  level  surface  of 
the  ridge  is  covered  with  rank  Heather  from  two  to  three 
feet  in  height,  growing  upon  raw-humus  nearly  a  foot  deep. 
Other  plants  are  scarce.  Occasionally  the  Pink  Bell  Heath 
(Erica  tetralix)  and  the  Bilberry  or  Blaeberry  (Vaccinium 
myrtillus)  may  be  seen,  and  a  tuft  or  two  of  Cotton  Grass 
(Eriophoriim  vaginatum)  in  damper  places,  but  the  Ling 
flourishes  so  vigorously  that  it  has  practically  driven  out 
everything  else. 

Another  peculiarity  of  the  fat  moor  can  be  observed 
on  the  same  ridge.  Between  the  masses  of  Heather  are 
bare  spaces  showing  brown  peat  of  such  thickness  as  to  hide 
nearly  all  traces  of  the  underlying  rock.  This  rock  is  the 
Moor  Grit  or  White  Flint,  a  hard  compact  sandstone 
which  on  thinner  moors  often  dots  the  surface  with  glossy 
white  boulders  and  stones.  But  on  Kempswithen,  these 
are  all  enveloped  in  the  thick  peat,  and  only  here  and  there 
a  "  Crow-stone,"  as  they  are  sometimes  called,  is  to  be  seen. 
On  the  bare  black  spaces  water  collects  and  flows,  and  white 
sand  spreads  in  curious  patterns  over  the  surface.  When 
these  moor  pools  evaporate,  a  peaty  film  is  left,  beneath 
which  numerous  beetles,  spiders,  and  centipedes  take 

Flowerless  plants,  especially  Lichens,  flourish  under  the 
Ling.  Among  them  is  sure  to  be  found  the  Reindeer  Moss 
(Cladinia  sylvatica),  a  plant  that  forms  extensive  carpets 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

on  the  peaty  soil,  and  which  frequently  has  other  species 
of  the  same  genus  growing  with  it. 

In  northern  latitudes  this  Lichen  attains  a  much  larger 
growth  than  here,  and  is  one  of  the  principal  foods  of  the 
Reindeer,  an  animal  that  formerly  lived  upon  our  moors, 
as  some  antlers  found  in  a  peat  bed  near  Kildale  prove. 
This  unmistakable  plant  possesses  pale  greyish  -  green 
branched  tufts  and  stems,  and  attains  its  most  luxuriant 
development  in  wet  and  wintry  weather.  Lichens — those 
strange  symbiotic  communities  of  Algae  and  Fungi — play 
a  prominent  part  in  the  life  of  moors,  and,  so  far  as  Cleveland 
is  concerned,  were  specially  investigated  many  years  ago 
by  the  late  William  Mudd,  of  Great  Ayton. 

Reverting  to  the  covering  of  boulders  by  peat :  on  fat 
moors,  where  large  blocks  of  sandstone  occur,  the  black 
soil  is  often  banked  up  against  the  sides  of  the  stones,  and 
Bilberries  and  Crowberries  {Empetrum  nigrum)  will  then 
grow  upon  it.  On  Saltersgate  Moor,  a  group  of  rocks  called 
the  "  Grey  Stones,"  is  difficult  to  find  now,  as  they  have 
become  more  or  less  embedded  in  peat. 

Towards  the  central  watershed,  the  fat  Heather  moors  are 
somewhat  different,  although  there  is  the  same  brown  peat, 
the  same  absence  of  boulders,  and  the  same  dominance  of  the 
Ling,  which  possesses  a  luxuriant  growth.  At  the  head  of 
Stockdale,  one  of  the  branches  of  Westerdale,  and  at  an 
elevation  of  over  one  thousand  feet,  we  find  this  moor 
variegated  by  the  presence  of  the  Bilberry,  a  plant  occurring 
everywhere  on  the  uplands  but  not  specially  characteristic 
or  dominant  except  on  slopes,  and  on  the  moor  in  question, 
it  only  becomes  abundant  on  slightly  rising  ground.  In 
May  and  June  its  bright  green  leaves  lend  a  brilliant  colour 
to  the  dark  moor,  whilst  in  autumn  as  the  purple  Heather 
fades,  the  foliage  of  the  Bilberry  glows  with  a  scarlet  light. 
Ling  and  Bilberry  are  undoubtedly  the  principal  plants  of 
the  higher  fat  moors,  just  below  and  encircling  the  Mosses 
of  the  central  watershed. 


The  Fat  Moors 

The  peat  of  the  Stockdale  Head  fat  moor  is  much 
thicker  than  that  on  Kempswithen,  and  the  surface  of  the 
ground  is  eroded  into  channels  and  gullies  on  account  of  the 
heavier  rainfall  to  which  the  high  moors  are  subjected.  The 
wetness  of  the  moor  favours  the  growth  of  Cotton  Grass 
{Eriophorum  vaginatum)  which  is  interspersed  amongst  the 
Heather  in  "  hussocks,"  as  the  men  of  the  moors  say.  Where 
the  Heather  has  been  burnt,  the  Cotton  Grass  afterwards 
becomes  the  sole  occupant  of  the  swiddens  with  the  excep- 
tion of  occasional  patches  of  lichen.  Such  conditions 
present  an  aspect  far  from  cheerful,  and  in  gloomy  weather 
a  more  dreary  scene  will  not  be  found. 

In  North  Cleveland,  especially  on  the  slopes  leading  up 
to  Danby  Beacon  by  Bella  Dale  Slack — Easington  High 
Moor — we  meet  with  another  kind  of  wet  fat  moor, 
perhaps  even  wetter  than  the  one  at  Stockdale  Head. 
The  slope  is  covered  with  peat  nearly  four  feet  thick,  and 
the  Ling  is  very  strongly  grown,  whilst  beneath  it  are  large 
green,  red,  and  yellow  cushions  of  Bog  Moss  {Sphagnum). 
Plant  sponges  best  describes  these  bosses  of  Sphagnum,  for 
not  only  do  they  readily  absorb  rain  which  falls  upon  them 
but  they  also  possess  the  power  to  take  up  moisture  from 
the  atmosphere,  and  to  retain  it  in  their  tissues  for  a  long 
period,  even  in  dry  weather.  There  can  be  no  doubt  that 
Bog  Moss  is  the  most  important  plant  on  the  moors  after 
the  Heather,  and  we  might  almost  say  there  would  be  no 
moors  without  Sphagnum  at  one  time  or  other  entering  into 
their  composition. 

Besides  Sphagnum,  the  Flying  Bent  Grass  (Molinia  varia) 
is  a  conspicuous  element  in  the  vegetation.  A  grass  more 
or  less  peculiar  to  some  wet  moorlands,  it  can  easily  be 
recognised,  for  when  the  plant  decays,  its  leaves  become 
detached  from  the  rootstock,  and  twist  up  like  a  corkscrew. 
In  this  condition  they  can  easily  be  pulled  up  by  the  hand, 
and  if  growing  in  an  exposed  situation,  are  liable  to  be 
swept  away  by  the  wind.     On  this  last  named  moor  Cotton 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Grass  "  hussocks  "  are  abundant  with  isolated  clumps  of 
Rushes  or  "  Seaves  "  [J uncus  communis).  When  seen  in 
August,  such  a  moor  is  more  variegated  than  the  pure 
Heather  moor.  The  purple  Ling  is  broken  by  the  white 
plumes  of  the  Cotton  Sedges,  the  blue-purple  panicles  of  the 
tall  Flying  Bents,  the  dark  green  culms  of  the  Rushes,  and 
the  lighter  hues  of  the  Bog  Mosses. 

Easington  High  Moor  presents  another  feature  which  must 
not  be  passed  over  without  comment — a  feature  indicative 
of  transitional  states  to  the  wettest  moors  or  Mosses.  Here 
and  there  are  spaces  without  Ling,  supporting  in  one  place 
nothing  but  Cotton  Sedges,  in  another  true  Sedges  {Car ex 
species),  and  yet  again  little  bogs  filled  with  Sphagnum. 
Such  plant  groups  flourish  on  the  site  of  bare  peaty  areas 
that  have  become  water-logged,  and  will  in  most  instances 
be  replaced  by  Heather. 

Why  is  this  particular  moor  so  wet  ?  The  rainfall  on  the 
North  Cleveland  watershed  is  certainly  much  less  than  on  the 
central  watershed,  say  at  Stockdale  Head,  for  the  difference 
in  elevation  amounts  to  at  least  three  hundred  feet.  The 
case  is  not  without  interest,  for  it  shows  that  a  wet  moor 
may  arise  where  there  is  a  lower  rainfall  providing  the  rocks 
on  which  it  rests  are  non-porous.  And  this  is  exactly 
what  we  find  on  Easington  High  Moor.  The  strata  beneath 
the  peat  are  clayey  shales  intercalated  with  thin  layers  of 
sandstone.  Water  cannot  percolate  through  this  shale,  and 
either  accumulates  on  the  surface,  or  flows  down  the  slopes. 
There  are  some  very  extensive  tracts  of  moorland  upon  these 
shaley  rocks  that  give  origin  to  the  wettest  of  fat  moors. 
The  enormous  area  of  moorland  lying  east  of  the  Murk 
Esk  Valley— Sleights,  Sneaton  High,  Widow  Howe,  and 
Fylingdales  Moors — covers  these  shales,  and  as  a  conse- 
quence is  wet  and  barren  in  the  extreme.  Not  far  from 
Goathland,  near  Eller  Beck,  a  wet  moor  of  this  type  has 
great  tufts  of  Flying  Bent  and  the  Pink  Bell  Heath  mixed 
with  the  Ling.     Round  Lilla  Cross  peaty  Heather  moors 


The  Fat  Moors 

prevail,  and  where  these  have  been  burnt,  there  is  a  ten- 
dency for  the  Pink  Bell  Heath,  a  species  partial  to  damp 
places,  to  spread  on  to  the  swiddens. 

The  moors  on  the  Tabular  Hills  are  usually  somewhat 
thin,  but  on  the  summit  of  the  great  hill  of  Black  Hamble- 
ton,  1300  feet  above  sea  level  (Fig.  46),  there  is  a  rather 
peculiar  fat  moor  resembling  in  many  of  its  aspects 
that  at  Stockdale  Head.  In  addition  to  a  thick  peaty  soil 
with  Ling  and  Bilberry,  this  moor  has  a  quantity  of  Crow- 
berry  (Empetrum  nigrum)  in  its  vegetation  with  here  and 
there  small  patches  of  Cotton  Grass.  The  Crowberry  is  by 
no  means  scarce  on  the  Eastern  Moorlands,  but  rarely 
becomes  a  dominant  feature  of  the  plant  life.  Usually  it 
occurs  sporadically  in  large  clumps,  often  spreading  over 
stones  and  rocks,  but  on  Black  Hambleton  makes  quite  a 
conspicuous  show  with  its  deep  green  cylindrical  leaves  and 
reddish  trailing  stems.  On  Eston  Moor,  the  most  northerly 
outlier  of  the  heath  vegetation  in  East  Yorkshire,  the  Crow- 
berry  flourishes  in  bosses  or  clumps,  several  feet  in  diameter, 
under  Birch  trees. 

An  interesting  and  anomalous  growth  of  this  plant  was 
observed  in  Baysdale,  not  far  from  Hob  Hole.  Along  the 
stream-side  runs  a  stone  wall  against  one  face  of  which  the 
downwash  from  the  slopes  above  has  accumulated  so  thickly 
as  to  be  almost  level  with  the  wall  top.  In  this  downwash 
are  numerous  plants.and  a  Crowberry  has  sprouted  over  the 
wall  and  grown  downwards  in  the  form  of  a  large  hanging 
bush.  At  first  sight  the  plant  appears  to  be  growing  up- 
wards, for  its  lower  end  just  touches  the  herbage.  The 
stem  where  it  passes  over  the  wall  is  nearly  as  thick  as  a 
man's  wrist!  (Fig.  10). 

Returning  once  more  to  the  fat  moors,  we  must  notice 
another  type  before  proceeding  to  discuss  their  life-con- 
ditons  and  origin.  It  occurs  at  the  southern  end  of 
Black-a-more,  on  Cropton  Moor,  at  the  foot  of  the  Tabular 
escarpment.     Here  on  wet  peaty  ground,   Heather  and  the 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Flying  Bent  are  almost  equally  abundant,  whilst  associated 
species  are  the  Pink  Bell  Heath,  and  the  Sweet  Gale  (Myrica 
gale).  Again,  just  west  of  and  below  the  Cawthorn  Camps, 
the  moor  of  Peat  Rigg  on  a  spur  of  the  escarpment  presents 
similar  characteristics.  Ling  is  the  principal  plant,  with 
an  abundance  of  Flying  Bent,  Pink  Bell  Heath,  Sweet  Gale 
and  Rushes. 

In  this  association  we  are  introduced  to  another  moorland 
plant,  the  Sweet  Gale  (Myrica  gale),  a  species  of  much 
interest,  and  with  which  we  shall  deal  more  fully  when 
treating  of  the  slacks.  It  is  a  catkin-bearing  shrub, 
with  sweet  aromatic  leaves  whose  perfume  pervades  the  air 
on  warm  summer  days.  Gale  often  attains  a  height  of 
four  or  five  feet,  is  partial  to  wet  moorlands,  and  in  winter 
can  be  recognised  at  some  distance  by  its  tall  purplish 
stems  projecting  above  the  Heather. 

After  a  fat  moor  is  burnt  it  frequently  happens  that 
until  the  Ling  attains  a  vigorous  new  growth,  the  vegetation 
appearing  on  the  swiddens  is  quite  different  from  the 
dominant  plants  of  the  surrounding  moor.  What  this 
vegetation  will  be  depends  upon  a  number  of  factors — the 
character  of  the  environing  plant  associations,  the  nature  of 
the  soil,  the  effect  of  the  burning,  and  the  position  of  the 
swidden  in  regard  to  slope  and  drainage.  Mr.  R.  B.  Turton, 
of  Kildale  Hall,  informs  me  that  the  nature  of  the  fire  has 
also  to  be  considered.  Where  the  fire  passes  over  the  Heather 
with  the  wind  behind  it,  the  plant  comes  again  much  earlier 
than  when  the  burning  has  been  a  longer  process.  In  the 
former  case  the  fire  has  not  affected  the  underground  parts 
of  the  plants  to  any  large  extent,  and  consequently  they 
re-appear  more  quickly  ;  whereas  in  the  other  case,  the 
whole  of  the  Ling  may  be  destroyed,  and  can  only  be  renewed 
from  seeds. 

In  examining  a  swidden,  it  is  important  to  bear  in  mind 
that  age  undoubtedly  changes  its  plant  association,  and, 
although  a  succession  is  traceable,  yet  this  varies  consider- 


The  Fat  Moors 

ably.  As  a  rule,  ten  to  fourteen  years  elapse  before  a 
swidden  becomes  reclothed  with  tall  Heather,  and  during 
this  time  other  species  of  quicker  growth  obtain  a  temporary 
occupation  of  the  ground,  but  the  Heather  ultimately  ousts 
all  competitors. 

On  some  swiddens  Heather  clothes  the  ground  before  any 
other  species,  but  the  first  plants  to  appear  on  a  well- 
burnt  swidden  are  usually  flowerless — Liverworts,  Mosses 
and  Lichens.  The  principal  Liverwort  found  under  such 
conditions  is  Lophozia  inflata,  and  it  invariably  assumes  a 
blackish  colour,  and  occurs  in  thin  flat  patches,  but  near 
water  it  is  usually  vivid  green.  If  the  moor  be  at  all  damp, 
the  only  Bog  Moss  seen  on  the  swiddens  is  Sphagnum 
papillosum  var.  confertum,  a  moss  that  shortens  and  crowds 
its  branches  when  growing  in  drier  situations.*  Weber  a 
nutans,  a  true  moss,  is  often  extremely  abundant,  whilst 
at  a  later  period  the  Hair  Moss  (Polytrichum  commune)  and 
Ceratodon  purpureus  are  not  infrequent.  Some  swiddens 
on  Great  Ayton  Moor  have  been  almost  covered  with  Lichens 
chiefly  of  the  genus  Cladonia  (to  which  the  Reindeer  Moss 
belongs),  C.  sylvatica,  ulcicornis,  pityrea,  cornuta,  lepidota, 
etc.  Dr.  Graebner  in  his  account  of  the  origin  of  the  North 
German  moors,  mentions  a  stage  in  their  development  in 
which  Cladonia  forms  the  principal  element  of  the  vegeta- 
tion, f  Undoubtedly  the  plant  life  of  swiddens  gives  us  a 
clue  to  the  floras  that  follow  one  another  on  a  bare  sandy 
soil  that  is  passing  into  Heather  moor,  but  as  these  burnt 
areas  already  possess  the  indispensable  peat,  their  succession 
of  vegetation  cannot  be  entirely  relied  upon  to  furnish  us 
with  a  correct  conception  of  the  plant  associations  that 
occupy  a  sandy  surface  before  it  becomes  moor. 

At  later  stages  the  flowerless  components  of  the  vegeta- 
tion of  swiddens  have  more  or  less  to  yield  to  the  flowering 
plants  and  a  very  mixed  flora  sometimes  results.     Often 

"Ingham,  "Naturalist,"  July  1911. 

f  Dr.  P.  Graebner,  "  Die  Heide  Nord  Deutschlands,"  pp.  82-91. 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

a  turf  develops,  consisting  of  Heather,  Bilberry,  Crow- 
berry,  Tormentil  (Potentilla  tormentilla) ,  Heath  Rush  {] un- 
cus squarrosus),  Brown  Bent  ( A grostis  canina),  and  Hair 
Moss  (Polytrichum  commune) ,  whilst  occasionally  grassy 
swards  composed  of  the  Brown  Bent  ( A  grostis  canina), 
Early  Hair  Grass  (Aira  prcecox),  and  Sheep's  Fescue  Grass 
(Festuca  ovina)  overspread  the  burnt  spaces.  In  some  in- 
stances, two  or  three,  or  even  only  one  species,  occupy 
the  ground  for  a  time.  On  Redman  Plain,  a  moor  due 
north  of  Lastingham,  Ling  is  the  chief  plant,  and  on  the 
old  swiddens  there  are  extensive  spreads  of  the  Purple 
Bell  Heath  {Erica  cinerea)  forming  what  may  almost  be 
termed  a  "  cinerea  "  moor.  In  places  this  plant  yields  to  a 
strong  mixture  of  Heather  and  the  Pink  Bell  Heath  (Erica 
tetralix),  whilst  on  more  recently  burnt  areas  Heather 
dominates  towards  the  edges,  with  young  growths  of  both 
Heaths  in  the  centre.  On  fat  moors,  such  as  that  at 
Stockdale  Head,  the  swiddens  are  often  covered  with 
beautiful  growths  of  Bilberry.  On  Glaisdale  Rigg  this 
was  very  noticeable,  and  on  one  swidden  Bracken  was  ob- 
served, a  plant  that  rarely  flourishes  on  a  fat  moor. 

The  uniformity  of  the  moors  is  much  disturbed  by  burn-, 
ing,  and  there  can  be  little  doubt  that  if  left  alone,  rank  Ling 
would  be  even  more  dominant  than  it  is  at  present.  By 
swiddening,  many  important  constituents  of  the  ericetal 
flora,  the  Heaths  for  instance,  become  much  more  abundant, 
and  so  help  to  break  the  monotony  of  the  extensive  stretches 
of  Heather. 

Under  the  term  "  fat  moor,"  we  have  described  four 
distinct  plant  associations,  viz.  : — 

Pure  Heather  Moor. 

Heather  and  Bilberry  Moor. 

Heather,  Flying  Bent,  Cotton  Grass,  and  Common  Rush  Moor. 

Heather,  Flying  Bent,  Common  Rush,  and  Sweet  Gale  Moor. 

The  two  first  are  more  wide-spread  than  the  others,  and 


The  Fat  Moors 

together  with  Heather  moors  of  the  thin  type,  cover  the 
greater  part  of  the  moorland  area.  All  nourish  on  moderate- 
ly deep  peat,  and  their  facies  vary  owing  to  the  presence  of 

Fig.  ii. — Diagram  Illustrating  the  Formation  of  Moorland  Soil. 




fcpCK    SOIL. 

Fig.  12. — Section  in  Moorland  Soil,  Showing  Contorted 

Pan,  Bransdale. 

a  greater  or  less  quantity  of  water.  Our  next  step  must  be 
to  examine  more  closely  the  conditions  of  life  under  which 
they  exist. 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Generally  speaking,  plants  are  adapted  to  two  main 
conditions  of  life  :  the  soil  from  which  they  obtain  their 
mineral  food  and  water,  and  the  atmosphere  from  which 
they  obtain  their  carbon  under  the  influence  of  sunshine. 
As  these  conditions  are  ever  varying  in  different  parts  of 
the  earth,  their  interaction  is  reflected  as  it  were,  in  the 
infinite  variety  of  form  assumed  by  those  organs  of  plants 
in  direct  contact  with  the  soil  and  the  atmosphere — the 
roots  and  the  leaves.  Consequently,  when  we  have  ascer- 
tained the  chemical  and  physical  characters  of  the  soil  on 
which  any  given  plant  association  maintains  itself,  and 
the  climatic  states — rainfall,  wind,  temperature,  sunshine — 
to  which  it  is  exposed  ;  and  further,  when  we  have  also 
ascertained  the  contrivances  by  means  of  which  the  various 
species  constituting  the  association  flourish  under  such 
conditions,  we  shall  then  know  why  that  association  exists 
in  that  particular  locality. 

Already  we  have  seen  that  peat  is  essential  to  the  develop- 
ment of  the  fat  moor,  but  if  we  examine  the  soil  more 
closely,  we  shall  find  that  it  possesses  other  peculiarities 
which  cause  it  to  exert  more  complicated  effects  upon  the 
vegetation.  At  Stockdale  Head  where  the  fat  moor 
slopes  up  to  Stony  Ridge,  there  is  a  gully  cutting  down  into 
the  sandstone  rock  of  the  upland,  and  in  rainy  weather  it 
is  the  scene  of  violent  torrents  of  water.  The  sides  of  this 
little  ravine  show  in  the  clearest  manner  the  various  deposits 
which  comprise  the  soil  formation  of  many  moors  (see  dia- 
grams in  Figs,  ii  and  12). 

First,  we  have  the  surface  peat  succeeded  by  a  bed  of 
bluish  grey  sand,  usually  about  ten  inches  thick,  stained 
with  peat,  and  penetrated  by  plant  rootlets.  At  the  base 
of  the  sand  is  a  thin  band,  from  a  quarter  of  an  inch  to  an 
inch  in  thickness,  of  a  hard  brown  substance  cementing 
together  small  stones  and  grains  of  sand,  and  cutting  off 
the  plant  roots  from  the  soil  upon  which  it  rests. 

This  thin  band  is  one  of  the  most  important  phenomena 


Photo  Fk  .    [3.     Ancient  Earthworks  near  Cawthorn        [Frank  i 

clothed  with   Purple   Bell   Heath   [Erica  cinerea). 

'^  *  &&L  -<S?- NdHfc 

I  i    .   14.— Harwood  Dale  1'    Holes. 


The  Fat  Moors 

of  the  moors.  Known  as  moor-pan,  it  extends  as  a  hard 
layer,  more  or  less  horizontal,  but  not  always  visible  in 
sections,  because  it  is  so  readily  destroyed  by  rain  and  frost. 
Sometimes  it  is  contorted  as  shown  in  Fig.  12,  which  repre- 
sents a  section  in  a  roadside  quarry  on  Rudland  Rigg  over- 
looking Bransdale.  Here  the  pan  is  at  least  two  inches 
thick,  a  greater  development  than  has  been  observed  any- 
where else  in  the  district.  That  pan  exists  under  all  the 
fat  moors  cannot  be  proved  ;  and,  although  it  has  been 
detected  in  many  localities,  there  is  no  evidence  that  it 
extends  continuously  for  miles,  as  is  the  case  on  the  North 
German  moors. 

A  band  of  small  stones  and  pebbles  often  takes  its  place, 
and  occasionally  these  have  their  upper  surfaces  thinly 
coated  with  a  deposit  of  pan.  In  fact  a  series  of  sections 
can  be  compared  in  which,  other  things  equal,  we  may  trace 
the  gradual  development  of  the  pan  from  the  thin  layer 
just  mentioned,  to  deposits  such  as  that  on  Rudland  Rigg. 

Where  roads  have  been  banked  up  on  either  side,  sections 
reveal  little  of  value  ;  but,  on  the  contrary,  where  a  track 
has  sunk  deep  into  undisturbed  soil,  interesting  features 
may  be  noticed.  The  humus,  perhaps  not  more  than  six 
inches  thick,  overhangs  the  face  of  the  exposure  as  a  pro- 
jecting ledge,  well  seen  in  Fig.  42.  By  feeling  with  the  hand 
at  the  junction  of  the  peat  and  soil,  hard  cakes  of  pan  can 
often  be  found.  The  projecting  ledges  are  caused  by  the 
erosion  of  the  sand  proceeding  more  rapidly  than  that  of 
the  humus  above  it,  for  the  latter  is  bound  together  by  the 
roots  of  plants  and  consequently  offers  a  greater  resistance 
to  denudation.  In  rainy  weather,  water,  more  or  less 
stained  with  peaty  acids,  runs  down  the  face  of  these  sections, 
and  flows  into  the  gutters  by  the  roadside,  where  beautiful 
growths  of  Bog  Moss,  usually  Sphagnum  acutifolium,  flourish. 

The  general  chemical  composition  of  moor-pan  can  be 
seen  from  the  following  analysis  for  which  I  am  indebted 
to  Mr.  H.  Frankland,  F.I.C.,  F.C.S.,  of  Middlesbrough  :— 

49  D 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Analysis  of  Moor  Pan  from  Rudland  Rigg. 

Oxides  of  Iron 

45-i4  per  cent. 

Oxides  of  Manganese 



Alumina,  etc. 


y  t 


1  \3° 








Sulphuric  Acid 



Phosphoric  Acid 


>  > 

Organic  matter  combined  with  water  etc. 






The  quantity  of  iron  amounted  in  this  sample  to  31*60 
per  cent.,  and  practically  the  whole  of  it  existed  in  the  form 
of  peroxide. 

The  existence  of  moor-pan  prevents  the  roots  of  the 
heath  plants  from  penetrating  the  rock  soil  below,  restricts 
them  to  the  peat  and  peaty  sand,  and  furthermore,  dwarfs 
the  growth  of  any  seedling  trees  that  may  chance  to  spring 
up  amidst  the  Heather.  Young  trees,  chiefly  Mountain 
Ash  or  Birch,  more  rarely  Oak  and  Scots  Pine,  may  fre- 
quently be  observed  on  the  moors,  but  they  seldom  rear 
their  stems  above  the  level  of  the  surrounding  vegetation, 
though  here  and  there,  an  isolated  Pine,  Mountain  Ash, 
or  Birch,  will  attain  a  maturer  growth,  and  stand  like  a 
solitary  sentinel  above  the  level  of  the  flat  moorlands. 
As  a  rule,  the  roots  of  the  seedlings  cannot  pierce  the  pan, 
and  consequently  being  unable  to  reach  the  comparatively 
richer  soil,  the  plants  obtain  what  sustenance  they  can 
from  the  impoverished  superficial  layers  ;  but  this  is  not 
the  sole  cause  at  work  in  preventing  the  growth  of  large 
trees,  for  amongst  others  must  be  named  the  powerful 
winds  which  sweep  over  these  wide  spaces,  and  the  Moor 
Sheep  which  continually  browse  upon  the  seedlings. 

Such,  then,  are  some  of  the  features  presented  by  the 
moorland  soils  which  are  more  complex  than  we  might 


The  Fat  Moors 

have  at  first  supposed.  It  is  obvious  that  two  of  the  de- 
posits— peat  and  pan — must  be  of  secondary  origin,  for 
the  surface  of  the  moors  must,  at  a  former  period,  have 
consisted  solely  of  the  soil  produced  by  the  weathering  of 
the  strata.  Peat  or  raw-humus  is  essentially  a  product 
formed  by  plants  when  they  die  and  decay  ;  and  it  is  clear 
that  until  a  rock-soil  has  become  clothed  with  vegetation, 
no  such  deposit  can  arise.  We  must,  therefore,  trace  the 
origin  of  these  secondary  formations  since  it  is  to  the  present 
soil  conditions  that  the  heath  plants  are  especially  adjusted, 
conditions  so  peculiar  that  species  belonging  to  other  plant 
associations  cannot  flourish  under  them. 

One  of  the  first  facts  which  strikes  the  observer  is  that 
the  rock-soil  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands  consists  more  or 
less  of  sand  and  sandy  clays.  In  other  parts  of  the  country 
the  association  of  heaths  with  similar  sandy  soils  has  also 
been  observed.  Thus  the  East  Anglian  heaths  occur  on 
flat  sandy  country  in  Norfolk  and  Suffolk  ;  those  of  the 
south-eastern  counties  occur  on  similar  soils  ;  and  so  with 
the  heaths  of  Hampshire  and  the  Midlands.*  On  the 
Eastern  Moorlands,  the  rock  soils  have  been  derived  from 
great  beds  of  sandstone,  grit,  and  sandy  shale,  whose  prin- 
cipal characteristic  is  that  they  consist  chiefly  of  quartz 
grains  cemented  together  by  iron  oxides,  and  in  some 
instances — the  Moor  Grit  is  one — by  silica.  These  rocks 
will  be  described  later  in  Chapter  X.,  and  photographs  of 
typical  sections  are  shown  in  Figs.  41  and  42.  Now  it  is  a 
peculiarity  of  such  rock-soils  that  they  are  poor  in  plant 
food,  in  those  soluble  mineral  ingredients  absorbed  by  roots, 
of  which  the  chief  are  potash,  lime,  magnesia,  nitric,  phos- 
phoric and  sulphuric  acids,  and  iron  salts.  Unfortunately, 
no  chemical  analyses  have  been  made  of  the  local  moorland 
sands  so  that  we  are  unable  to  say  what  their  mineral  con- 
tent is.     Graebner  gives  many  analyses  of  soils  which  lend 

*  "  Types  of  British  Vegetation,"  pp.  107-111. 

Moorlands   of  Nortk-Eastern  Yorkshire 

support  to  the  view  that  those  of  moorlands  are  com- 
paratively poor  in  plant  food.*  The  following  analysis  of 
moorland  water,  taken  from  Jugger  Howe  Beck  on  Fyling- 
dales  Moor,  we  insert  because  it  indicates  the  character  and 
amount  of  the  mineral  ingredients  that  may  be  in  the  moor- 
land sands  : — 

Analysis  of  Water  from  Jugger  Howe  Beck,  by 

Prof.  TiDY.f 

Grains  per  Gallon. 

Total  solid  matter 

9'io  grains 



Nitrogen  as  Nitrate  and  Ni 


trites,  Nitric  Acid 


Organic  Carbon 

•214  parts  per  100,000 

Organic  Nitrogen    . . 


Lime  (CaO) 

179  grains 

Magnesia   (MgO) 

•612  „ 

Sulphuric  Anhydride  (SO)  . 

•080  ,, 


i*512   » 

Common  Salt 

2-478   „ 

An  analysis  by  Professor  Attfield  of  the  water  issuing 
from  Hazel  Head  Springs,  Egton  High  Moor,  showed  the 
following  : — 


2-87  grains 

Ammoniacal  Salts  . . 


Carbonate  of  Lime . . 

7 -22  grains 

Sulphate  of  Lime    . . 

•65      „ 

Carbonate  of  Magnesia 

•7°      » 


'7°      >, 

What  has  produced  the  differences  in  the  soil  of  the 
moors,  and  above  all,  what  has  caused  that  rich  accumula- 
tion of  peat  or  humus  ?     Let  us  imagine  a  sandstone  surface 

*  "  Heide  Nord-Deutschlands." 

f  Quoted  by  Fox-Strangways  in  "  Jurassic  Rocks  of  Yorkshire," 
pp.  498  and  518. 


The  Fat  Moors 

exposed  to  the  action  of  the  weather  and  entirely  destitute 
of  plant  life.  Such  a  surface,  in  course  of  time,  becomes 
disintegrated  by  the  frost,  rain  and  wind  ;  a  sandy  layer 
is  formed,  passing  below  into  coarser  rock  fragments  until 
the  solid  stratum  is  reached.  Numerous  sections  exhibit 
this  effect  of  the  atmosphere  upon  the  moorland  grits  and 
sandstones.  Falling  upon  the  sandy  layer,  the  rain  dissolves 
those  mineral  ingredients  already  mentioned,  and  carries 
them  into  deeper  layers.  A  poor  soil  is  thus  rendered  still 
poorer  at  the  surface,  and  consequently  it  becomes  still  more 
unsuitable  for  plants  of  large  and  rapid  growth  which  require 
considerable  quantities  of  mineral  food.  That  this  leaching 
action  has  taken  place  on  the  Eastern  Moorlands  is  certain, 
for  that  well-known  rock,  the  Lower  Calcareous  Grit,  which 
caps  the  northern  edge  of  the  Tabular  Hills,  has  practically 
no  calcareous  matter  in  its  surface  layers  :  these  consist 
principally  of  white  siliceous  grit,  all  the  calcareous  matter 
having  been  dissolved  and  carried  away  by  the  rain.  Most 
of  the  moorland  sandstones  are  somewhat  porous,  and  as 
they  usually  rest  on  shales,  the  percolating  water  is  thrown 
up  in  the  form  of  springs  at  their  base.  In  this  way,  for 
centuries,  large  quantities  of  mineral  matter  have  been 
removed  from  the  weathered  surface,  and  the  probability 
is  that  the  humic  or  peaty  sand  shown  in  Figs,  n  and 
12  represents  the  leached  out  portion  of  the  rocks. 

Whilst  the  weathering  continues,  plants  begin  to  settle 
upon  the  surface  ;  though  what  these  plants  will  be  is 
difficult  for  us  to  decide  owing  to  the  circumstance  that 
so  few  bare  spaces  exist  where  we  can  observe  the  initial 
development  of  moorland.  Probably  the  first  species  to 
appear  are  minute  algae  and  mosses  which  cover  the  ground 
with  a  thin  green  film,  but  it  is  not  unlikely  that  Ling  and 
some  of  its  associates  may  colonise  the  surface  at  the  outset. 
Small  sandy  spaces  occasionally  occur  where  Heather  and 
Purple  Bell  Heath  grow  in  patches.  Shale  heaps,  such  as 
those  in  the  great  alum  quarries  at  Boulby  near  Loftus,  or 



Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

the  spoil  heap  at  some  old  moorland  coalpit  (Fig.  38),  have 
clumps  of  Ling  upon  their  slopes  almost  before  a  trace  of 
humus  or  other  plants  appear.  Grasses  frequently  grow 
on  old  quarry  tippings,  such  as  the  Brown  Bent  ( Agrostis 
canina)  and  the  Sheep's  Fescue  Grass  (Festuca  mind),  but 
in  many  cases  the  vegetation  of  these  bare  spaces  depends 
upon  their  situation  in  regard  to  surrounding  plants.  Still 
they  furnish  local  indications  of  the  manner  in  which  Heather 
moorland  develops  on  the  bare  ground.  Undisturbed  sandy 
spots  can  be  observed  by  roadsides,  the  surfaces  of  which 
are  pierced  by  dwarf  shoots  of  mosses  (Polytrichum) ,  and, 
according  to  Graebner,  these  plants  on  the  dunes  of  the 
Baltic  Coast  help  to  consolidate  the  loose  shifting  sand  and 
prepare  the  way  for  higher  plants.* 

Whatever  plants  appear,  their  remains — leaves,  stems, 
roots,  seeds,  seed-capsules,  etc. — fall  upon  the  sandy  soil 
where  they  may  be  subjected  to  three  changes  : — they  may 
be  completely  destroyed  by  chemical  and  physical  processes, 
aided  by  the  action  of  worms  and  bacteria ;  they  may 
undergo  a  process  of  oxidation,  likewise  aided  by  fungi, 
bacteria,  worms  and  grubs ;  or  they  may  undergo  a 
process  of  reduction  in  which  the  action  of  the  lower 
organisms  is  insignificant  or  totally  absent.  The  resulting 
product  in  each  case  is  different.  In  the  first  no  humus  is 
formed  ;  in  the  second  mild  humus  or  mould  is  the  result ; 
in  the  third,  raw  humus,  peat,  or  acid  humus,  accumulates. 
It  is  the  last  process  which  has  operated  on  the  moors,  and 
which  is  very  largely  responsible  for  their  existence.  Though 
the  other  processes  have  been  and  still  are  at  work,  their 
destructive  influences  are  counterbalanced  and  exceeded 
by  conservative  influences ;  for  it  is  a  peculiarity  of  the 
process  of  reduction  that  it  leads  to  the  accumulation  of 
great  thicknesses  of  raw  humus  which,  under  favourable 
circumstances,  may  be  40  feet  deep. 

*  "  Heide  Nord  Deutschlands,"  p.  89. 


The  Fat  Moors 

The  total  destruction  of  plant  remains  is  rare,  as  the 
oxidation  is  very  imperfect  and  chiefly  confined  to  the 
surface.  When  the  heath  vegetation  has  attained  a 
close  growth,  it  partially  shelters  the  humus  from  the  action 
of  the  air.  Winds  sweep  with  great  velocity  over  the  moors 
and  cause  air  currents  to  move  amongst  the  Ling  stems 
(where  the  plants  are  somewhat  open  in  growth),  and  over 
the  superficial  layers  of  humus,  and  supplies  of  oxygen  are 
thus  brought  into  contact  with  those  substances  in  the 
plant  remains  which  unite  with  it  to  form  carbonic  acid, 
sulphur  trioxide,  etc.  How  effective  this  oxidation  may  be 
is  clearly  illustrated  by  the  changes  that  take  place  in 
charred  Heather  stems  or  "  gouldens."  At  first  black, 
they  become  in  time  an  ashy  grey  colour,  for  their  carbon 
combines  with  the  atmospheric  oxygen  until  the  whole  has 
disappeared  (Figs.  40  and  49  show  grey  gouldens  in  the  fore- 
ground). Similarly,  though  more  slowly,  less  effectively, 
and  quite  superficially,  owing  to  the  continual  rain  of  plant 
remains  and  the  closeness  of  the  vegetation,  the  raw  humus 
of  the  Heather  moor  participates  in  the  same  changes. 

But,  as  already  mentioned,  oxidation  is  outweighed  by 
the  chemical  process  of  reduction,  especially  on  fat 
moors  and  the  Mosses.  Several  causes  conspire  to  exclude 
oxygen  from  the  peat,  viz. :  the  closeness  of  the  masses 
of  vegetation,  the  formation  of  the  humus  in  water,  the 
heavy  rainfall,  and  the  general  absence  of  earthworms  and 
grubs  of  insects.  Darwin  has  shown  how  earthworms 
contribute  to  the  origin  of  vegetable  mould  by  passing 
through  their  bodies  earth  and  organic  substances,  and  re- 
depositing  them  in  the  form  of  castings  on  the  surface  of 
fields,  gardens,  etc.  In  the  course  of  ages  the  whole  of  the 
surface  mould  and  soil  is  ejected  by  worms  and  exposed  to 
the  influence  of  the  weather,  oxidised,  and  converted 
into  mild  humus  which  rarely  accumulates  to  any  con- 
siderable thickness.  This  process,  however,  is  entirely 
lacking    on    moors,    especially    fat    moors.     Worms  are 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

scarce,  if  present  at  all,  and  if  stones  embedded  in  peat  are 
turned  over,  none  of  these  lowly-organised  animals  will  be 
seen.  Only  where  circumstances  favour,  on  grassy  spaces 
for  instance,  do  they  exist.  Larvae  of  subterranean  habits 
are  also  more  or  less  absent  from  acid  humus,  and  the  lack 
of  these  creatures  prevents  the  mole  from  living  on  peaty 
moorlands.  Occasionally  these  active  burrowers  will  be  met 
with  at  high  elevations,  and  I  have  observed  them  at  an 
altitude  of  1200  feet  near  Ralph  Cross  ;  but  wherever  thick 
peat  is  developed  the  mole  is  absent.  Anyone  who  has 
noticed  the  work  moles  can  perform  in  throwing  the  soil  on 
to  the  surface  must  admit  they  have  no  little  influence  in 
thoroughly  mixing  its  organic  and  inorganic  constituents 
and  exposing  both  to  the  weather.  Hence  the  absence  or 
rarity  of  all  these  animals  on  the  moors  is  a  further  factor 
favouring  the  accumulation  of  plant  remains.  In  estima- 
ting the  relative  importance  of  these  various  causes  perhaps 
the  greatest  weight  should  be  attached  to  the  presence  of 
a  copious  supply  of  water,  either  as  rain  or  in  the  form  of 
springs.  The  wetter  the  moor,  the  greater  the  accumulation 
of  humus.     Later  on  we  shall  see  why  this  is  the  case. 

Schroter  and  Friih,  in  their  great  work  on  the  Moors  of 
Switzerland,  emphasise  the  fact  first  formulated  by  the 
latter  investigator,  that  the  co-operation  of  micro-organisms 
(microbes,  etc.),  has  had  very  little  effect  in  the  formation 
of  peat.*  In  any  case,  the  peculiar  antiseptic  properties 
of  peat  exclude  the  presence  of  destructive  bacteria,  and 
since  these  organisms  play  a  very  large  part  in  numerous 
processes  of  decay,  their  non-existence  in  the  soil  of  moors 
favours  the  accumulation  of  vegetable  remains. 

By  the  co-operation  of  these  several  causes,  aided  pro- 
bably by  others  not  yet  discovered,  acid  humus  collects  on 
the  weathered  sandy  surface.     It  undergoes  a  process  of 

*  "  Die  Moore  der  Schweiz,"  p.  128.     In  this  work  there  is  a  detailed 
account  of  peat  formation. 
















The  Fat  Moors 

reduction  which  is  just  the  opposite  to  oxidation,  viz., 
the  removal  of  oxygen  ;  and  it  is  doubtless  the  absence  of 
oxygen  which  renders  raw  humus  unsuitable  as  an  abode 
for  worms  and  subterranean  larvae.  We  cannot  deal  here 
with  the  complex  chemical  changes  which  acid  peat  under- 
goes. Deficiency  of  oxygen  favours  the  formation  of  organic 
acids  which  stain  blue  litmus  paper  red.  These  humic  acids, 
as  they  are  called,  are  decomposable  with  difficulty,  but  mix 
with  the  moorland  water,  and  obstruct  its  absorption  by 
the  plant  roots  and  root-hairs.  They  are  everywhere 
present,  and  may  frequently  be  observed  covering  the 
surface  of  pools  with  an  iridescent  sheen.  They  are  usually 
brown  or  black  in  colour.  The  carbon  in  the  peat  forms 
compounds  with  hydrogen,  the  chief  of  which  is  Marsh 
Gas  or  Methane  (CH4)  ;  the  sulphur  also  unites  with  the 
hydrogen  to  form  sulphuretted  hydrogen  (SH2).  These 
changes  more  properly  belong  to  the  peat  of  moorland  bogs 
with  which  we  shall  deal  in  Chapter  IV. 

When  a  shallow  deposit  of  acid  humus  has  accumulated 
on  the  sandy  surface,  pan  begins  to  form  in  a  mode  which 
has  been  ably  elucidated  by  German  investigators*  and 
which  has  been  admirably  summarised  by  Graebner  in  the 
work  already  quoted,  f     Briefly  it  is  as  follows  : — 

Rain-water  percolates  through  the  humus  and  conveys 
the  humic  acids  into  the  soil  proper,  into  that  weathered 
portion  which  thus  becomes  stained  with  peaty  matters. 
The  water  carries  the  acids  through  those  layers  which  are 
poor  in  soluble  salts,  but  when  it  comes  in  contact  with  the 
unweathered  soil  full  of  soluble  mineral  matter  it  takes 
this  up  at  the  same  time  depositing  the  humic  acids  which 
knit  together  the  loose  grains  into  a  layer  of  red  or  brown  pan. 
The  process  is  a  very  gradual  one  and  the  layer  slowly  in- 

*  P.  E.  Muller,  "  Die  naturlichen  Humusformen,"  Berlin,  1887  ; 
E.  Ramann,  "  Ortstein  und  ahnliche  Secundarbildungcn  in  den  Alluvial 
und  Diluvialsanden,"  Berlin,  1885. 

t  Op.  cit.,  p.  123-124. 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

creases  in  thickness  as  the  humic  acids  are  deposited  at  the 
junction  of  the  un weathered  and  weathered  sand. 

Such  then  are  the  soil  conditions  of  the  fat  moor, 
and  their  mode  of  origin.  These  deposits,  as  we  have  seen, 
are  produced  by  definite  causes,  and  it  is  clear  that  these 
causes  in  their  turn  must  be  determined  by  others, 
the  chief  of  which  is  the  climate.  It  is  quite  obvious  that 
the  drier  and  windier  a  climate  is,  the  greater  will  be  the 
oxidation  of  plant  remains,  and  the  less  chance,  therefore, 
for  the  accumulation  of  acid  humus.  That  moors  and  heaths 
are  so  extensively  developed  in  Western  Europe  shows  that 
that  part  of  the  world  is  favourable  to  ericetal  plants,  and 
a  careful  examination  of  the  climatic  conditions  prevailing 
in  various  localities,  has,  of  late  years,  resulted  in  the  ascer- 
tainment of  the  limits  of  moor  development.  We  shall, 
accordingly,  next  glance  at  the  climate  of  the  Eastern 
Moorlands,  and  see  how  it  corresponds  with  what  has  been 
observed  in  other  districts. 

The  wind  sweeps  with  great  force  over  the  comparatively 
level  and  exposed  uplands  of  Black-a-more,  and  is  always 
stronger  than  on  the  lowlands.  "As  an  instance  of  the 
power  of  the  wind  on  these  moors,"  says  Mr.  Fox-Strang- 
ways,  "  we  may  mention  that  many  of  the  trees  growing 
on  the  escarpment  of  Rievaulx  Moor  were  some  years 
ago  torn  up  by  the  roots  and  hurled  on  to  the  top  of  the 
plateau."*  Such  powerful  winds  have  a  tendency  to  keep 
the  vegetation  dwarfed  and  shrubby,  and  generally  speaking 
extensive  heather-clad  moors  are  often  best  developed 
where  the  wind  sweeps  over  unobstructed  tracts  of  country. 
By  reason  of  their  short  growth  ericetal  plants  are  admirably 
adapted  to  this  climatic  condition. 

Owing  to  the  elevation,  the  rainfall  on  the  moors  is  much 
heavier  than  in  the  lowlands.  At  Middlesbrough  the  annual 
average  rainfall  from  1884-1908  was  24*16  inches,  whilst 

*  "  Jurassic  Rocks  of  Yorkshire,"  Vol.  I.,  p.  481. 


The  Fat  Moors 

at  Whitby  from  1867-1908  the  annual  average  was  25.41 
inches.  Records  extending  over  a  short  period  at  Redcar, 
Scarborough,  and  other  places  show  that  the  rainfall  there 
sometimes  does  not  exceed  22  inches  in  the  year.  The 
nearer  we  get  to  the  hills,  however,  the  higher  the  rainfall 
becomes.  Northallerton  has  an  average  of  2578,  Guis- 
borough  with  an  elevation  of  400  feet  has  an  average  of 
30'83  inches.  At  Ingleby  Greenhow,  at  the  foot  of  the 
Cleveland  Hills,  the  average  for  sixteen  years  (1884-1900)  was 
3i"i8  inches.  At  the  Lockwood  Beck  Reservoir,  which  is 
on  the  northern  edge  of  the  moors  at  an  altitude  of  589  feet, 
the  average  annual  quantity  of  rain  from  1873-1908  amounted 
to  32.64  inches,  and  for  twenty-two  years  out  of  the  thirty- 
six,  the  annual  amount  was  over  30  inches.*  In  the  heart 
of  the  moorlands  it  is  reported  to  be  as  high  as  36  inches, 
and  the  probability  is  that  in  some  areas,  the  central  water- 
shed for  instance,  it  is  even  greater  than  this.  Over  the 
whole  moorland  region  the  average  probably  lies  between 
32  and  36  inches  per  annum,  an  average  7  to  11  inches 
higher  than  at  many  places  on  the  plains. 

These  facts  are  in  complete  consonance  with  those  detailed 
by  Graebner,  in  his  "  Heide  Nord  Deutschlands,"  concerning 
the  relationship  of  the  North  German  heaths  to  the  rainfall 
of  North  Germany  generally.  As  the  dependence  of  the 
ericetal  vegetation  on  climatic  factors  is  very  distinctly 
brought  out  by  these  researches,  it  will  be  necessary  to  dwell 
upon  them  for  a  short  space. 

Although  the  soils  of  the  North  German  plain  are  the 
same  in  the  east  as  in  the  west,  yet  the  vegetation  of  the 
two  areas  is  quite  distinct.  In  the  west,  in  Hanover,  Olden- 
burg, and  Schleswig-Holstein,  are  great  stretches  of  Heather 
moorland,  whilst  in  the  east  these  are  entirely  absent  and 
are  replaced  by  thin  pine-woods  and  a  steppe-like  flora. 
This  difference  is  due  in  part  to  the  different  climate  of  the 

*  I  am  indebted  to  the  Secretary  of  the  Cleveland  Waterworks  for 
these  statistics. 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

two  areas.  In  the  main  "  Heide  "  area,  which  is  west  of 
the  Elbe  and  passes  northwards  into  Holstein,  the  rainfall 
rarely  falls  below  24  to  28  inches  per  annum,  whereas  in  the 
east  and  especially  in  the  basins  of  the  Oder-Weichsel,  the 
rainfall  often  does  not  exceed  20  inches  per  annum.  Along 
the  Baltic  shores  there  runs  a  strip  of  heath  vegetation,  and 
it  is  worthy  of  note  that  this  occurs  continuously  where  the 
rainfall  is  at  or  above  24-28  inches  ;  but  at  the  mouths  of 
the  Oder  and  the  Weichsel,  where  it  is  less,  Heather  moors 
do  not  occur.  Similarly,  the  Lausitz  Heide,  south  of  Berlin, 
possesses  a  minimum  rainfall  of  24-28  inches  per  annum, 
although  surrounded  by  country  uncovered  with  heaths 
and  with  a  much  lower  precipitation.* 

Neglecting  other  atmospheric  factors  on  which  Graebner 
lays  stress,  it  is  obvious  from  the  data  which  he  has  collected 
that  the  full  development  of  moorlands  cannot  be  attained 
with  a  rainfall  less  than  24-28  inches  per  annum.  The 
greater  the  rainfall,  the  greater  the  accumulation  of  humus 
and  pan.  The  rainfall  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands  is  con- 
siderably higher  than  that  of  the  German  "  Heide  "  area, 
and  consequently  helps  very  considerably  to  produce  those 
necessary  soil  and  moisture  conditions  upon  which  their 
existence  depends. 

It  is  not  yet  definitely  known  what  is  the  upper  limit 
of  rainfall  under  which  Heather  moors  can  flourish,  but  their 
scarcity  in  parts  of  the  country  where  the  rainfall  exceeds 
60  inches  per  annum  is  regarded  as  having  a  real  signifi- 
cance, f 

Altitude  is  a  secondary  factor  in  determining  the  exis- 
tence of  moors,  by  increasing  the  rainfall,  lowering 
the  temperature,  and  increasing  the  velocity  of  the 
wind.  In  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  the  highest  moors 
occur  at  an  elevation  of  1489  feet,  the  low  moors  of  the 
Howardian  Hills  are  only  250  feet  above  the  sea,  and  still 

*  Op.  cit.,  pp.  128-134. 

f  Tansley,  "  Types  of  British  Vegetation,"  p.  99. 


The  Fat  Moors 

lower  heaths  exist  in  the  Vale  of  York.  On  the  coast  at 
Saltvvick  Bay  near  Whitby,  and  at  Peak,  moorland  plants 
descend  almost  to  high-water-mark.  Why  the  Eastern 
Moorlands  occur  at  their  present  elevation  will  become 
apparent  when  we  deal  with  their  geological  aspects. 

Fogs  and  clouds  often  hang  over  the  uplands  when  other 
parts  of  the  district  are  clear.  In  winter,  the  moors  are 
always  more  or  less  soaked  with  moisture,  and  are,  in  places, 
impassable.  After  rain  in  summer,  when  the  surface  water 
is  being  evaporated  by  the  hot  sun,  a  curious  phenomenon 
is  produced,  known  locally  as  "  summer  geese  or  colts." 
If  the  moor  edge  be  projected  against  the  skyline,  water 
vapour  can  be  seen  flowing  and  quivering  in  dark  waves 
over  the  top  of  the  Ling.  "  See  how  the  summer  colt  rides," 
as  they  say  in  the  dales. 

Such  being  the  physical  and  climatic  conditions  of  the 
moors,  it  remains  to  be  pointed  out  how  the  plants  are 
enabled  to  live  under  them.  Not  that  we  propose  to  enter 
fully  into  the  question  of  their  adaptations  ;  this  lies  beyond 
the  scope  of  these  pages.  All  that  will  be  needful  is  to  show 
how  they  manage  to  obtain  their  sustenance  under  circum- 
stances which  are  certainly  adverse  to  most  species  from 
other  habitats.  Having  done  this  we  shall  have  a  raison 
d'etre  for  the  existence  of  the  moors. 

As  proving  how  other  plants  cannot  live  upon  peaty 
soils,  it  is  instructive  to  observe  that  on  swiddens,  ericetal 
species  alone  appear.  Seeds  of  all  kinds  of  plants  must  be 
deposited  on  these  blackened  areas,  either  by  the  wind  or 
by  birds  and  insects  ;  but  none  of  them  ever  attain  even  the 
form  of  seedlings,  and  must  therefore  perish  owing  to  the 
conditions  not  being  suitable  for  their  existence.  Definite 
proof  that  the  seeds  of  plants  found  on  waste  spaces — ruderal 
plants — settle  upon  the  moors,  is  furnished  where  the  ground 
has  been  radically  disturbed  and  the  soil  consequently 
changed.  Thus,  Nettles  may  be  found  growing  upon 
artificial  soil  consisting  of  cinders  and  sand,  by  the  side  of 

61  v 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

the  Rosedale  Branch  Railway  at  Farndale  Head ;  and, 
where  shooting  boxes  have  been  erected,  the  same  species 
will  be  seen.  By  roadsides,  where  scrapings  and  gutter 
refuse  have  been  banked  up,  ruderal  plants  occur — Thistles, 
Nettles  and  the  like.  Not  being  provided  with  those  special 
adaptations  which  true  ericetal  species  possess,  they  cannot 
maintain  themselves  upon  the  peaty  soil  of  moors. 

The  moorland  vegetation  is  more  or  less  in  the  position 
of  the  Ancient  Mariner  "  with  water,  water  everywhere, 
nor  any  drop  to  drink."  Both  they  and  the  Ancient 
Mariner  live  under  a  condition  which  is  known  as  phy- 
siological drought.  That  is  to  say,  although  they  are 
surrounded  by  water  it  is  unassimilable  and  they  might 
almost  as  well  be  living  in  a  desert!  Physiological  drought 
on  a  wet  moor  does  not  coincide  with  physical  drought,  but 
this  is  so  on  very  dry  and  sandy  heaths.  In  the  first  case, 
the  water,  being  charged  with  humic  acids  which  act  in- 
juriously upon  the  living  plant  cells,  can  only  be  absorbed 
in  small  quantities  whenever  it  is  fairly  pure,  just  as  the 
Ancient  Mariner  would  absorb  what  he  could  from  a  passing 
shower  of  rain.  In  the  second  case,  there  is  not  the  quantity 
of  water  available,  peaty  acids  being,  on  dry  heaths,  com- 
paratively scarce.  As  the  plants  flourish  in  situations 
which  are  usually  windy  or  liable  to  be  exposed  to  insolation, 
i.e.,  to  the  full  blaze  of  the  sun,  it  is  obvious  that  owing  to 
the  small  amount  of  assimilable  water,  they  would  rapidly 
wither  unless  there  was  some  check  on  transpiration 
from  the  surface  of  the  leaves.  Now  the  most  striking 
feature  of  the  leaves  of  moorland  plants  is  their  small, 
almost  minute  size.  The  leaves  of  Heather  are  only 
one-sixteenth  of  an  inch  in  length  ;  those  of  the  Heaths 
are  slightly  larger ;  and  those  of  the  Crowberry  are 
about  a  quarter  of  an  inch.  By  this  device  the  trans- 
piration area  is  very  considerably  restricted ;  but  more 
than  this,  all  the  leaves  mentioned  are  inrolled ;  that 
is  to  say,  their  edges  are  rolled  inwards  towards  the  under 


The  Fat  Moors 

surface,  so  that  a  small  slit  is  left  between  the  opposite 
edges.  The  whole  leaf  thus  forms  a  narrow  cylinder,  beauti- 
tully  illustrated  in  the  Crowberry,  where  not  only  is  the 
leaf  a  perfect  cylinder  but  the  slit  is  practically  closed  by 
interlacing  papillae.  Within  the  slit  are  the  transpiration 
pores  or  stomates,  protected  in  this  way  from  all  outside 
influences.  Water  cannot  get  at  them,  the  wind  cannot 
sweep  over  them  ;  and  so  by  this  remarkable  adaptation 
the  loss  of  water  is  reduced  to  a  minimum.  In  many  moor- 
land grasses  and  sedges  this  type  of  leaf  structure  is  well- 
displayed.  We  see  it  in  the  fine  thread-like  and  tubular 
leaves  of  the  Sheep's  Fescue  Grass,  the  Wavy  Hair  Grass, 
the  Mat  Grass,  in  the  Tufted  Scirpus  (Scirpus  ccespitosa), 
in  the  Cotton  Sedges,  etc.  There  are  exceptions  to  this 
rule  into  the  details  of  which  we  cannot  enter,  but  the  leaves 
of  Sweet  Gale,  Bilberry,  Flying  Bent  and  other  species  are 
not  inrolled,  and  possess  other  characteristics  which  render 
them  capable  of  living  under  the  same  conditions  of  life. 

The  evergreen  character  of  the  Heather  is  not  regarded 
by  Schimper  as  an  adaptation  to  the  environment,  but  as 
a  morphological  feature  due  to  heredity,  and  it  merely 
dominates  the  whole  formation  because  of  the  dominance 
of  the  Ling  itself.* 

According  to  the  same  authority  it  is  still  an  open  question 
as  to  what  extent  moorland  plants  need  the  organic  sub- 
stances in  the  acid  humus  or  are  restricted  to  it  because 
they  can  endure  it.  The  mineral  matters  in  the  humus 
though  full  of  materials  essential  as  plant  food,  are  in  such 
a  form  as  to  be  directly  unassimilable  by  the  roots.  Several 
species — Heather,  Heaths,  Crowberry,  etc. — have  their  roots 
and  root-hairs  enveloped  by  a  fungus  whose  cellular  mycelial 
threads  are  in  intimate  contact  with  the  cells  of  the  plants. 
By  a  process  peculiar  to  this  fungus  or  micorrhiza,  the 
organic  compounds  in  the  humus  are  broken   down  and 

*  "  Plant  Geography,"  p.  657. 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

passed  on  to  the  heath  plants,  which  would  thus  appear  to 
be  unable  to  obtain  their  food  from  the  soil  without  the 
assistance  of  the  micorrhiza,  one  of  the  most  remarkable 
instances  of  symbiosis  known,  for  it  dominates  such  wide 
areas  of  the  earth's  surface. 

In  this  chapter  we  have  examined  the  typical  moor  or 
heath  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  ;  we  have  also  examined 
those  essential  conditions  of  soil  and  climate  under  which 
it  flourishes  ;  and  we  have  briefly  glanced  at  the  adjustments 
of  the  plants  in  relation  to  their  environment ;  but  varia- 
tions set  up  by  local  circumstances  give  rise  to  types  of  vege- 
tation with  soils  which  diverge  considerably  from  those  we 
have  described. 













INSENSIBLE  gradations  connect  the  fat  moor  with 
the  thin  moor.  In  passing  from  the  one  to  the 
other  we  notice  that  the  humus  becomes  shallower, 
the  Ling  less  luxuriant,  and  the  ground  generally- 
much  drier.  At  the  same  time  other  plants  appear 
amongst  the  Heather,  and,  owing  to  the  thinness  of  the  peat, 
stones  frequently  litter  the  surface  and  project  above  the 
vegetation  (see  Fig.  39).  Grasses  occasionally  play  an 
important  part  on  the  drier  moors,  and  are  probably  indica- 
tive of  somewhat  better  edaphic  conditions  ;  not  that  the 
soil  is  actually  any  richer  in  plant  food  than  that  of 
the  fat  moor,  but  the  decreased  quantity  of  raw  humus 
and  frequent  absence  of  pan  render  assimilation  much 
easier  for  plants,  as  their  roots  strike  into  the  sandy  soil 
without  hindrance. 

A  few  thin  moors  are  wet,  and  these  are  most  closely 
related  to  the  fat  moor.  Two  kinds  may  be  recognised — 
the  Calluna-Nardus  moor,  and  that  dominated  by  the 
Tufted  Club  Rush  (Scirpus  ccespitosa). 

Parts  of  Danby  Low  Moor  above  Castleton  may  be  taken 
as  typical  of  the  first  group.  The  Heather  is  interspersed 
with  tussocks  of  Mat  Grass  {Nardus  stricta),  the  Pink  Bell 
Heath,  the  Heath  Rush,  and  Reindeer  Lichens.  These  plants 
grow  on  a  peaty  sand  quite  distinct  from  the  rich  humus 
of  a  fat  moor,  and  no  trace  of  pan  can  be  detected  in  the 
sections  exposed. 

The  second  type  of  wet  thin  moor  is  very  distinct 
and  rare  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire.  It  occurs  in  badly- 
drained  localities,  and  is  much  damper  than  the  Nardus  moor, 
while  the  humus  is  shallow  and  often  rests  upon  clayey 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

shale.  The  two  principal  plants  are  the  Tufted  Club  Rush 
(Scirpus  ccespitosa)  and  the  Pink  Bell  Heath,  usually  in 
about  equal  proportions,  though  sometimes  the  one  and 
sometimes  the  other  preponderates  over  its  associate.  The 
most  extensive  spreads  of  these  plants  known  to  me  are 
at  the  head  of  Lockwood  Beck  on  Stanghow  Moor.  Other 
frequent  though  subordinate  species  are  the  Cotton  Grass 
(Eriophorum  vaginatum),  the  Flying  Bent  (Molinia  ccerulea 
var.  depauperata) ,  the  Heath  Rush  ( J  uncus  squarrosus) ,  and 
the  Common  Rush  ( J  uncus  conglomeratus) .  The  surface  of 
the  soil  is  hummocky,  and  on  the  hummocks  grow  those 
plants  which  characterise  this  very  distinct  kind  of  moor.  We 
may  further  emphasise  its  features  by  remarking  that  such 
familiar  species  as  the  Mat  Grass,  the  Bilberry,  the  Crow- 
berry,  and  the  Purple  Bell  Heath  are  totally  absent. 

Intermediate  between  these  two  associations  is  another 
which  occurs  on  Hutton  Mulgrave  and  Egton  Low  Moors, 
particularly  on  the  former,  where  the  Pink  Bell  Heath  is 
the  principal  plant  followed  in  order  of  abundance  by  Mat 
Grass,  the  Tufted  Club  Rush,  and  the  Cotton  Grass  (Erio- 
phorum vaginatum).  So  far  as  my  observations  go,  moors 
on  which  Scirpus  plays  a  prominent  part  only  occur  on  the 
northern  side  of  Eskdale.  Elsewhere  in  the  country,  the 
Scirpetum,  as  this  association  is  sometimes  called,  exists 
on  deep  peat  as  in  the  Wicklow  Mountains  to  the  south  of 
Dublin,  in  the  north-west  Highlands  of  Scotland,  and  in 
Shetland.*  Scirpus,  as  we  shall  see  in  the  next  chapter,  is 
a  conspicuous  element  on  a  peat  bog  in  Kildale,  but  the 
floral  composition  of  the  Scirpetum  in  such  localities  differs 
appreciably  from  those  we  have  just  described. 

As  previously  stated  most  thin  moors  are  dry,  and 
they  exhibit  a  somewhat  extensive  series  of  plant  associa- 
tions ranging  from  pure  Heather  moors  to  grassy  commons, 
with  little  or  no  Ling  in  their  vegetation,  and  corresponding 

♦"Types  of  British  Vegetation,"  p.  272. 


The  Thin  Moors 

closely  to  the  heaths  of  southern  and  eastern  England. 
The  thin  Callunetum  is  particularly  interesting,  for 
like  the  fat  Callunetum,  it  consists  almost  exclusively 
of  Heather,  but  differs  in  being  comparatively  dry  and 
in  the  short  growth  of  the  dominant  plant.  Perhaps 
the  best  example  I  have  met  with  occurs  on  the  summit 
of  a  ridge  on  Danby  Low  Moor,  above  Danby  End.  This 
ridge,  Elm  Ledge,  850  feet  above  the  sea,  marks  the  outcrop 
of  a  porous  sandstone,  the  Kellaways  Rock  (see  Figs.  42,  43, 
and  44).  On  the  summit  the  ground  has  a  gradual  inclina- 
tion towards  the  north  and  is  clothed  with  short  Heather. 
A  section  in  the  soil  shows  that  peat  properly  so-called  is 
absent,  being  replaced  by  sandy  humus  underlain  by  a 
coarser  sand  at  the  base  of  which  is  a  thin  layer  of  pan. 

The  peculiarities  of  the  Kellaways  Rock  moor  were 
recognised  in  the  Geological  Survey,  and  Mr.  Barrow  re- 
marks :  "  It  is  possible  to  tell  at  night  when  crossing  a 
driftless  area  of  Kellaways  Rock,  both  from  the  extremely 
short  Heather  with  which  it  is  covered,  and  the  peculiar 
scrunching  of  fragments  of  rock  under  the  feet."*  The 
fat  moor  on  wet  clayey  shale,  described  in  Chapter  II., 
occurs  in  proximity  to  the  thin  moor  of  the  Kellaways 
Rock,  so  that  at  one  moment  we  are  on  a  dry  thin  moor 
and  at  another  on  a  wet  fat  moor,  the  boundary  between 
them  being  fairly  well-defined. 

Here  we  have  distinctly  illustrated  the  influence  of  the 
underlying  rock  upon  the  character  of  the  vegetation,  a 
cause  generally  in  operation,  though  often  obscured  by 
other  conditions.  The  formation  of  peat,  for  example, 
effectively  masks  the  direct  action  of  the  true  soil.  On  the 
Kellaways  Rock  of  Allerston  High  Moor,  between  Sleights 
and  Pickering,  at  an  elevation  of  about  950  feet,  we  find 
instead  of  the  dry  thin  moor  we  should  expect,  peaty 
Heather  moors  with  much  Bilberry,  and  this  anomaly  must 

*  "  Geology  of  North  Cleveland,"  p.  58. 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

be  attributed  to  the  circumstance  that  the  ground  is  badly 
drained,  causing  accumulation  of  peat  on  which  Heather 
flourishes  far  more  vigorously  than  on  a  sandy  humus. 

Great  Ayton  Moor  is  an  excellent  example  of  the  heath 
of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire.  Here  we  find  thin  humus 
lying  upon  the  flat  surface  of  a  sandy  and  stony  soil.  Traces 
of  pan  may  be  observed  in  the  roadside  sections,  and  though 
not  nearly  so  strongly  developed  as  on  the  fat  moors, 
it  probably  underlies  all  the  thinner  heaths  of  this  type. 
Botanically  the  heath  must  be  regarded  as  a  Callunetum, 
for  Ling  is  dominant,  but  the  Bilberry,  Crowberry,  Purple 
Bell  Heath,  and  the  Common  Tormentil  (Potentilla  tormen- 
tilla)  occur  sporadically.  Large  spreads  of  Reindeer  Lichen 
interspersed  with  allied  species  (Cladonia  uncialis,  coccifera* 
etc.)  are  also  well-displayed.  In  wetter  hollows  the  Common 
Rush  ( J r uncus  communis)  is  numerous,  in  company  with  the 
Heath  Rush  { J  uncus  squarrosus),  Bog  and  Hair  Mosses. 
Wherever  the  Heather  closely  grows  few  species  manage  to 
live  amongst  it,  especially  when  the  plant  is  in  its  prime  ; 
but  when  old  age  creeps  on,  the  Ling  becomes  straggly,  the 
stems  fall  away  from  one  another,  and  a  space  is  left  in  the 
centre  of  the  clumps.  Mosses,  principally  that  fine  species 
Hypnum  cupressiforme  var.  ericetorum,  colonise  the  bottom 
of  this  space,  Cladonia  Lichens  also  settle,  and  fine  groups  of 
Cup  Lichens  ( C.  coccifera)  may  be  observed.  On  the  stems 
themselves  another  plant  makes  its  home,  the  handsome 
Inflated  Lichen  (Parmelia  physodes)  with  its  bleached  appear- 
ance and  curled  form.  I  have  occasionally  noticed  perfect 
rings  of  Heather  with  a  tuft  of  Heath  Rush  or  other  species 
flourishing  in  the  centre  ;  and  I  think  we  may  explain  this 
by  aid  of  the  facts  just  mentioned.  It  is  quite  likely  that 
after  a  time  the  centre  of  a  clump  of  old  Ling  becomes  colon- 
ised by  a  flowering  plant,  round  which  the  young  Heather 
springs  up. 

On  the  Tabular  Hills  thin  Heather  moors  are  frequent 
at  the  edge  of  the  escarpment  ;    but  the  vegetation  varies 


The  Thin  Moors 

in  places  owing  to  variations  in  the  water  content  and  the 
character  of  the  underlying  rock,  the  Calcareous  Grit. 
On  the  noble  promontory  of  Birk  Nab,  at  an  elevation  of 
iooo  feet  between  Sleightholme  Dale  and  Riccal  Dale, 
Heather  is  dominant,  and  interspersed  with  Crowberry  and 
Purple  Bell  Heath.  The  humus  is  thin,  somewhat  dry,  and 
underlain  by  a  mass  of  small  stones  out  of  which  all  traces 
of  calcareous  matter  have  been  dissolved  by  the  rain. 
Further  south,  the  thin  moors  of  the  Tabular  Range 
merge  into  grassy  commons  and  whin  coverts,  as  at  Boonhill 
and  elsewhere. 

As  long  ago  as  1796  Marshall  recognised  the  different 
nature  of  these  moors,  and  it  will  not  be  without  interest 
to  quote  his  description  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands : — 

"  The  natural  produce  of  the  more  lofty  swells  of  these 
mountains — termed  provincially  the  '  high  moors  ' — is 
principally  Heath,  interspersed  with  patches  of  '  Bent '  ; 
together  with  the  common  rush  and  other  aquatics,  in  the 
valleys,  and  on  the  bogs  with  which  even  some  of  the  swells 

"  But,  at  the  foot  of  those  swells,  and  in  the  faces  of  the 
cliffs  which  terminate  them  to  the  south  (the  Tabular  Range), 
as  well  as  upon  the  top  of  the  marginal  heights — which, 
when  they  shoot  far  to  the  northward  as  between  Newton 
and  Cawthorn,  are  covered  with  black  soil  and  heath — a 
number  of  the  better  grasses,  with  a  variety  of  other  plants, 
may  be  found  growing  among  the  heath,  notwithstanding 
the  situation  which  in  point  of  blackness  is  little  inferior 
to  the  '  moorheads.'  "* 

All  the  moors  of  the  Tabular  Hills  are  not  thin  ;  on 
the  contrary,  some  of  them  are  very  fat,  and  in  places 
form  true  Mosses  as  we  shall  see  in  the  following  chapter ; 
but,  with  the  exception  of  Arden  Great  Moor,  Black  Ham- 
bleton,  and  parts  of  Allerston  Low  Moor,  thick  peat  is  rare, 

*  "  Rural  Economy  of  Yorkshire." 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

and  even  in  the  localities  named  it  is  never  so  deep  as  on 
the  moors  of  the  central  watershed.  A  well-marked  feature 
of  the  summit  of  the  Tabular  Hills  is  the  tendency  for  trees 
to  spring  up  amidst  the  Heather.  This  is  perhaps  most 
marked  along  the  southern  edge  of  Rievaulx  and  Helmsley 
Moors,  where  hundreds  of  self-sown  pines  from  the  neigh- 
bouring plantations  flourish  for  a  distance  of  almost  half  a 
mile  to  the  north,  becoming  few  and  far  between  as  the  edge 
of  the  escarpment  is  approached. 

The  transitions  between  the  thin  Heather  and  the  Grass 
moors  are  well-displayed  towards  the  moor  edges  in  most 
parts  of  the  district ;  and  the  high  ridges  of  land  which  divide 
the  dales  opening  into  the  Esk  Valley  afford  admirable 
illustrations  of  these  transitions.  Where  they  radiate  from 
the  watershed,  the  land  is  mostly  fat  moor ;  but  lower 
down  the  "  riggs  "  the  moor  becomes  thinner  and  thinner, 
partly  owing  to  the  decreasing  rainfall  due  to  lessened  eleva- 
tion and  partly  owing  to  the  better  drainage  along  their 

On  Danby  Ridge  above  Ainthorpe,  the  Heather  is  mixed 
with  Mat  Grass,  and  Gorse  bushes  are  numerous.  The 
Ling  is  still  dominant  but  somewhat  stunted,  and  on  the 
lower  and  steeper  slopes  it  becomes  rarer,  being  either 
superseded  by  Bracken  and  Bilberry,  or  by  Grasses  and 
Furze.  On  the  gentler  slopes  of  the  Ridge,  Bracken  puts  in 
an  appearance,  a  fact  showing  that  on  these  inclinations  it 
has  a  tendency  to  assert  itself  wherever  the  slightest  oppor- 
tunity offers.  The  damper  parts  of  the  "  Rigg  "  are  domina- 
ted by  great  spreads  of  the  Heath  Rush  mixed  with  Mat 
Grass  and  Bracken. 

A  remarkable  swidden  of  a  somewhat  rare  type  was 
observed  here  in  early  June  when  the  vegetation  was  in 
marked  contrast  to  that  of  the  surrounding  moor.  Upon 
the  burnt  space  were  innumerable  clumps  of  vivid  green 
Crowberry  interspersed  with  large  spreads  of  the  reddish 
Sheep's  Sorrel  (Rumex  acetosella) — a  small  species  of  dock — 


The  Thin  Moors 

thus  presenting  a  unique  facies  and  a  brilliant  contrast  of 

The  steep  slopes  below  High  Castleton  are  a  good  example 
of  thin  moor  in  a  more  advanced  state  of  development 
towards  sward.  Heather  is  present,  but  grasses  prevail ;  and 
the  Mat  Grass,  the  Sheep's  Fescue  Grass,  the  Wavy  Hair 
Grass,  and  the  Common  Bent  occur  in  profusion. 

This  type  of  vegetation  is  somewhat  rare  in  North- 
Eastern  Yorkshire.  On  the  Eston  Hills  in  the  extreme  north 
of  the  area  are  extensive  swards  of  coarse  Mat  Grass  with 
here  and  there  a  wider  spread  of  Ling,  the  Crowberry  is 
also  abundant,  perhaps  more  so  than  elsewhere. 

Easby  Moor,  on  which  Captain  Cook's  Monument  stands, 
is  covered  with  a  vegetation  that  is  half  Heather  and  half 
Mat  Grass,  both  species  being  very  equally  mixed  with  one 
another.  The  moor  is  extremely  thin,  and  the  stunted 
plants  grow  in  a  few  inches  of  humic  sand  which  passes 
below  into  weathered  fragments  of  rock.  The  paths  are 
large  and  well-defined  owing  to  the  constant  stream  of 
visitors  to  the  monument,  and  an  examination  shows  the 
turf  is  composed  of  Sheep's  Fescue  Grass,  the  Brown 
Bent,  and  the  Early  Hair  Grass  as  well  as  other  species 
much  less  abundant.  It  is  to  be  noticed  that  the  Mat 
Grass  flourishes  on  both  wet  and  dry  thin  moors,  but  it 
always  attains,  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  at  any  rate, 
its  most  luxuriant  development  on  the  former.  But  the 
moor  must  not  be  too  wet  or  too  peaty  otherwise  the  plant 
is  ousted  by  species  better  adapted  to  such  conditions. 

Among  the  Grass  Moors  we  may  mention  the  Howe  at 
Castleton  (Fig.  54),  which  is  a  conspicuous  hill  dividing 
Danby  Dale  into  two  sections  at  its  exit  into  Eskdale. 
Here  we  find  Mat  Grass  the  dominant  plant,  especially  in  a 
broad  zone  round  the  middle  of  the  hill.  On  the  lowest 
slopes  Furze  is  plentiful,  and  scattered  dwarf  bushes  creep 
some  little  way  up  the  sides.  Above  the  Furze  belt 
dwarf  Ling  is  abundant,  in  places  sharing  the  ground  with 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Nardus.  The  Ling  disappears  about  half-way  up,  and 
on  the  summit  Bracken  becomes  sub-dominant  with  a  patch 
or  two  of  Heath  Rush.  Dwarf  Bilberry  is  not  infrequent 
in  the  lower  zones,  and  a  special  feature  of  this  moor  are 
bosses  of  moss  (Dicranum  scoparium,  etc.),  associated  with 
Reindeer  Lichens  through  which  a  few  Bilberries  push  their 
wiry  and  angular  stalks.  Besides  the  above-named  species, 
there  are  many  others  on  the  Howe,  but  it  would  be  tedious 
to  enumerate  them  in  detail.  Anyone  can  perceive  that 
this  kind  of  thin  moor  is  radically  distinct  from  the  pure 
Heather  moor,  but,  as  we  have  before  noticed,  insensible 
transitions  unite  both  extremes. 

The  reader  will  have  observed  that  Furze  ( Ulex  europcsus) 
occurs  on  these  moors,  and  in  some  parts  of  the  district  it 
constitutes  with  grasses,  an  almost  separate  type  of  vegeta- 
tion. On  Cockshaw  Hill  above  Great  Ayton,  Gorse  and 
Heather  in  varying  proportions  form  an  easily  distinguishable 
plant  association.  As  usual,  ericetal  grasses  (Nardus,  Aira 
flexuosa,  Festuca  ovina,  etc.)  occur  abundantly  amongst  the 
Ling.  Near  Stanghow,  there  is  another  example  of  this 
association  where  Gorse  is  even  more  dominant.  This 
association  usually  characterises  the  moor  edge,  as  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Staintondale,  and  is  generally  indicative  of 
drier  conditions  and  a  soil  where  deep  humus  is  practically 
absent.  Gorse  is  a  conspicuous  element  in  the  plant  life 
of  the  slopes  which  we  shall  describe  later  ;  our  observations 
in  this  chapter  are  restricted,  wherever  possible,  to  the  flat 

Professor  E.  F.  Weiss  in  a  paper  on  "  The  Dispersal  of 
Fruit  and  Seeds  by  Ants  "*  has  described  a  very  interesting 
circumstance  with  regard  to  the  distribution  of  Gorse 
on  the  Eastern  Moorlands.  He  refers  to  the  incursion  of 
Furze  bushes  into  pure  Heather  moor  between  Rievaulx 
Abbey  and  Coxwold,  particularly  above  Wass  Bank.     Plants 

*  "  New  Phytologist,"  1908. 



Pholo  by] 

Fig.   17. — Peat  at  Loose  Howe. 

[Frank  Elgi; 

Photo  I 

Fig.   [P.     Pi  \i    r.  Collier  Gill,  Wheeldale.         [Frank  Eigee. 

The  Thin  Moors 

occur  on  either  side  of  the  main  road,  and  diverge  in  long 
lines  into  the  Calluna  moor.  I  have  observed  similar  rows 
of  Gorse  running  in  comparatively  straight  lines  in  many  parts 
of  the  district — on  the  Howe  at  Castleton  and  on  Danby 
Ridge  for  instance.  As  Dr.  Weiss  states,  the  lines  are  almost 
invariably  on  the  site  of  old  or  little  used  cart  tracks, 
and  he  attributes  the  arrangement  of  the  plants  in  this 
manner  to  the  influence  of  ants.  Investigations  have  proved 
that  the  seeds  of  many  plants  are  furnished  with  an  edible 
portion,  the  caruncle,  often  brightly  coloured,  which  ants 
esteem  as  food.  Hence  such  seeds  are  eagerly  sought  after 
and  carried  away  by  the  insects.  Some,  however,  drop 
by  the  way,  and  if  the  soil  is  suitable,  germinate.  As  a 
method  of  dispersal  this  is  an  established  fact,  and  as  Furze 
seeds  possess  a  bright  orange  caruncle,  the  probability  is 
that  the  plant  is  thus  distributed.  Ants  use  old  tracks 
in  getting  to  and  from  their  nests,  and  when  carrying  the 
seeds  of  Gorse,  they  may  have  distributed  them  into  the 
Heather  moors  in  almost  straight  lines.  Ants,  as  we  shall 
learn  later,  are  very  abundant  on  the  moors,  and  may, 
therefore,  be  an  important  agent  in  plant  dispersal.  The 
facts  cited  are,  however,  capable  of  another  interpretation. 
That  the  Gorse  clings  to  the  borders  of  old  cart  tracks  sug- 
gests that  seeds  were  enabled  to  flourish  along  the  line 
of  the  road  owing  to  the  disturbance  of  the  raw  humic 
soil  which  always  takes  place  by  roadsides.  For,  quite 
apart  from  any  banking  up  that  may  be  done,  the  wheel 
ruts  are  a  channel  for  running  water,  and  in  theso  ways 
the  soil  is  much  mixed  with  sand  and  mud.  Furze  often 
fringes  the  highways,  but  nearly  always  towards  the  margin 
of  the  moors,  rarely  in  the  heart  of  the  district — due,  I 
think,  to  the  more  favourable  soil  conditions  and  thinner 
character  of  the  moors  in  the  former  localities.  Thus  it  is 
quite  possible  that  soil  conditions  alone  may  have  deter- 
mined this  singular  instance  of  distribution.  Furze  may 
often  be  observed  growing  along  the  slopes  of  ditches  or 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

hollows  in  fields  ;  and  near  the  railway  bridge  on  the  road 
from  Castleton  to  Danby  End,  bushes  can  be  observed 
growing  round  the  base  of  wooden  posts  about  six  feet  apart. 
It  would  not  be  safe  to  say  definitely  what  factor  or  factors 
have  given  rise  to  these  curious  dispersals. 

If  the  distribution  of  Gorse  and  other  species  is  in  part 
effected  by  ants,  we  have  a  remarkable  instance  of  the 
relationship  between  the  ericetal  plants  and  the  animal 
life  of  the  moors.  No  feature  of  plant  distribution  on  the 
moors  can,  therefore,  be  regarded  as  trivial  or  unimportant, 
since  its  explanation  may  lead  to  the  discovery  of  obscure 
causes  and  involved  dependencies  of  one  being  upon  another. 

Returning  once  more  to  a  consideration  of  the  types  of 
thin  moor,  we  must  glance  at  one  or  two  examples  of 
the  sward,  common,  or  grass  heath  as  they  are  variously 
called.  Strictly  speaking,  they  are  not  moors  in  the  nor- 
thern sense  of  the  word,  but  a  few  remarks  are  necessary 
concerning  them  as  they  represent  the  final  disappearance 
of  heather-clad  lands  into  plant  associations  of  a  non- 
ericetal  character.  Extensive  swards  do  not  exist  upon  the 
moors,  yet  we  frequently  come  across  small  grassy  spaces 
which,  from  various  causes,  have  almost  and  sometimes 
quite  ceased  to  support  Ling.  I  remember  examining  such 
a  sward  on  the  northern  side  of  Stockdale  on  a  fine  September 
day.  The  turf,  consisting  of  the  Sheep's  Fescue  Grass,  the 
Brown  Bent  and  the  Early  Hair  Grass,  was  short  and  smooth, 
and  surrounded  by  Bracken  and  Heather.  On  the  sward 
were  beautiful  clumps  of  bright  green  Hair  Moss  (Poly- 
trichum  communis),  of  a  brighter  green  even  than  the  turf 
itself ;  here  were  the  bristly  leaves  of  the  Heath  Rush,  there 
tufts  of  greyish  Mat  Grass  with  occasional  bosses  of  purple 
Ling,  the  whole  presenting  a  very  pleasant  aspect  when 
contrasted  with  the  dark  moors  on  every  side. 

Were  we  to  define  a  moor  as  land  on  which  Heather  grows, 
Spaunton  Moor  between  Sinnington  and  Kirby  Moorside 
in  the  Vale  of  Pickering  would  merit  that  name.     On  the 


The  Thin  Moors 

summit  of  the  low  hill  on  which  the  moor  is  situated,  are 
small  patches  of  extremely  dwarfed  Heather  barely  an  inch 
in  height.  So  small  is  the  plant  that  careful  searching  is 
necessary  in  order  to  discover  it.  In  reality  Spaunton 
Moor  should  not  be  so  called  ;  it  is  a  fine  grass  covered 
common  with  an  abundance  of  Gorse ;  and  the  soil  is 
derived  from  the  shales  of  the  Kimmeridge  Clay,  peat  is 
absolutely  wanting,  and  there  is  no  pan. 

The  rarest  kind  of  grass  moor  in  this  district  is  that  on 
which  the  Purple  Moor  Grass  or  Flying  Bent  (Molinia 
ccerulea)  prevails— the  Molinietum.  In  the  preceding  chap- 
ter it  was  pointed  out  that  this  species  has  a  tendency 
to  appear  on  certain  fat  moors  of  the  North  Cleveland 
watershed,  and  in  a  few  localities  towards  the  boundary 
the  grass  becomes  quite  dominant,  though  never  covering 
any  extensive  area.  Just  east  of  Freeborough  Hill  (Fig.  57), 
near  Moorsholm,  we  find  a  good  example,  where  in  a  slight 
hollow  great  tussocks  of  the  grass,  occasionally  nearly 
three  feet  high,  cover  the  damp  ground  in  profusion.  The 
Heather  is  subordinate  with  the  Decumbent  Heath  Grass 
(Triodea  decumbens),  Tormentil,  the  Wavy  Hair  Grass, 
Yorkshire  Fog  (Holcus  mollis),  and  Tufted  Hair  Grass  (  Aim 
ccespitosa).  Where  Molinia  is  thinner  Mat  Grass  comes  in. 
The  Wavy  Hair  Grass  with  its  handsome  reddish  culms 
forms,  here  and  there,  luxuriant  carpets  ;  the  Brown  Bent 
with  its  feathery  panicles  is  also  luxuriant,  and  the  Sweet 
Scented  Vernal  Grass  (  Anthoxanthum  odor  at  urn) — a  species 
also  found  in  fields  and  lanes— is  plentiful.  Towards  the 
south,  on  a  slight  rise,  is  a  thin  moor  with  Heather,  Rushes, 
Pink  Bell  Heath,  Molinia  and  Scirpus.  The  soil  is  some- 
what peaty  and  wet.  Altogether  the  vegetation  is  most 
heterogeneous,  and  gives  the  impression  that  the  ground  has 
formerly  been  under  cultivation,  the  remains  of  hedges  or 
old  walls  being  traceable.  Occasional  trees  suggest  that  it 
has  also  once  been  the  site  of  a  plantation. 

Wherever  thin   moorland  has  been  reclaimed  and   then 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

neglected,  it  degenerates  into  grass  heath.  This  is  very- 
noticeable  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Osmotherley  near  the 
Chequers  Inn,  and  in  the  upper  parts  of  Ryedale  near 
Snilesworth.  It  seems  a  pity  that  waste  land  reclaimed  at 
so  much  labour  and  expense  should  be  allowed  to  deteriorate, 
though  perhaps  it  was  scarcely  worth  the  outlay  of  time  and 
trouble,  for  such  enclosures  cannot  be  highly  cultivated, 
and  are  mostly  used  for  sheep. 

We  may  now  tabulate  the  different  types  of  moor  des- 
cribed in  this  chapter  as  follows  : — 

Heather  and  Mat  Grass — Calluna-Nardus  Moor. 
Pink  Bell  Heath,  Club  Rush,  and  Mat  Grass  Moor. 
Club  Rush  and  Pink  Bell  Heath — Scirpetum. 
Flying  Bent  Moor — Molinietum. 
Heather  Moor,  stunted. 
Heather,  Grasses  and  Gorse. 
Grasses  and  Gorse — Commons. 

None  of  these  associations  occupy  a  wide  area,  and  as  a 
rule,  they  prevail  towards  the  moor  edges  in  most  parts  of 
the  district  where  the  land  is  comparatively  level,  where  the 
rainfall  is  less,  the  altitude  lower,  and  the  rock  soil  somewhat 
different  from  that  of  the  central  elevated  region.  The 
Nardus  Heaths  approximate  to  the  siliceous  grassland  of 
the  Pennines,  but  on  the  Eastern  Moorlands  they  constitute 
no  decided  botanical  feature,  and  they  are  usually  much 
mixed  with  Ling.  No  hard  and  fast  lines  can  be  drawn  be- 
tween the  different  kinds  of  thin  moor ;  in  all  directions 
they  merge  into  one  another  as  slight  changes  of  conditions 
first  favour  one  species  and  then  another  ;  and  this  in- 
definiteness  of  transitions  prevents  definite  generalisations. 
The  extremes  are  easily  recognised,  but  the  means  are  ever 
varying  in  character. 

With  respect  to  the  origin  of  thin  moors,  many  must 
have  originated  on  the  bare  ground  in  the  manner  indicated 
in  the  last  chapter.  Others  may  occupy  the  sites  of  degenerate 
woodland,  though  of  this  we  cannot  at  present  be  certain. 



IN  this  chapter  we  have  to  describe  the  transition  of  the 
pure  Heather  moor  through  wetter  and  wetter  con- 
ditions until  it  merges  into  the  moorland  bog  or  Moss, 
the  reverse  of  the  transition  traced  out  in  the  last 
chapter.  Many  Mosses  come  under  the  term  fat  moor, 
but  as  they  present  so  many  peculiar  features,  and  throw 
much  light  on  the  botanical  history  of  the  heath  vegetation,, 
they  are  best  dealt  with  separately. 

It  is  on  the  back-bone  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire — the 
elevated    watershed    dividing    the    drainage    of    the    River 
Derwent  from  that   of  the   Esk — that   we   find  the   most 
extensive  and  most  typical  development  of  the  Mosses.     If 
we  stand  on  any  of  the  isolated  Howes  which  form  such 
conspicuous  landmarks  on  the  high  moors,  Shunner  Howe, 
Cock  Heads,  or  Loose  Howe  (Fig.  40),  we  have  on  all  sides  a 
wide  expanse  of  bogs.    The  words  wild  and  lonely,  as  applied 
to  the  district  of  the  watershed,  convey  but  an  inadequate 
idea  of  its  aspect.     Profound  silence  generally  reigns  over 
these  solitudes,  broken  only  by  the  strife  of  winds,  or  in 
summer  by  the  call  of  the  marsh  birds.     Owing  to  the  com- 
parative flatness  of  the  ground,  its  excavation  into  shallow 
depressions,   and   the   much    heavier    rainfall,   these   moss 
moors  are  necessarily  very  wet  at  all  times  of  the  year, 
especially  in  winter,  as  may  be  expected.     Consequently, 
they  support  a  suite  of  plants  differing  from  those  of  other 
moors,  not  so  much  in  its  component  species  as  in  their 
relative  abundance.      Peat  of  great  thickness  accumulates 
and  what  is  sporadic  on  drier  moors,  little  pools  full  of  Bog 
Moss  with  patches  of  Cotton  Grass,  is  the  permanent  condition 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

of  the  Mosses.  The  wet  types  of  vegetation  already  des- 
cribed are  transitional  stages  leading  to  the  moorland  bog, 
which  present  as  varied  facies  as  do  other  moors.  In 
dealing  with  these  interesting  and  little  studied  aspects  of 
nature,  we  shall  follow  their  distribution  along  the  watershed 
from  east  to  west. 

The  first  Moss  which  we  shall  describe  is  that  of  Harwood 
Dale,  at  an  elevation  of  six  hundred  feet,  near  the  Falcon 
Inn,  on  the  Scarborough  and  Whitby  high  road.  Though 
not  specifically  called  a  Moss — the  place  is  more  usually 
termed  the  Harwood  Dale  Peat  Holes — the  bog  corresponds 
in  all  its  characters  with  moors  bearing  that  designation. 
It  measures  about  the  third  of  a  mile  across  from  north  to 
south,  and  from  east  to  west  the  distance  is  approximately 
the  same.  The  Moss  lies  in  a  slight  depression  south  of  the 
watershed  which  here  forms  the  moors  of  Stony  Marl  Howes 
and  Peak,  and  exhibits  that  almost  universal  feature  of  peat 
bogs,  being  higher  in  the  centre  than  at  the  periphery,  a 
feature  that  has  resulted  in  their  being  called  "  Hochmoore  " 
in  Germany.  This  Moss  has  been  most  extensively 
excavated  for  its  peat  which,  in  the  middle,  cannot  be 
much  less  than  thirty  feet  thick,  but  it  thins  out  towards  the 
south  and  round  the  margin.  No  remains  of  trees  appear 
to  exist  in  the  central  peat,  but  nearer  the  high  road  their 
stumps  are  somewhat  numerous  with  roots  penetrating 
into  the  rock  soil.  Birch  is  the  principal  species.  Our 
photograph  (Fig.  14)  shows,  however,  the  overturned  trunk 
of  a  Scots  Pine  (Pimts  sylvestris),  a  tree  of  very  rare  occur- 
rence in  peat  beds  of  any  kind  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire. 
In  fact,  this  is  the  only  authentic  instance  known  to  me. 

The  surface  vegetation  consists  of  Ling  and  Cotton  Grass 
(Eriophorum  vaginatum)  in  equal  proportions  though  in 
parts  the  Sedge  dominates  with  much  Sphagnum,  indicative 
of  the  wetness  of  the  ground.  Towards  the  northern 
margin  Purple  Moor  Grass  (Molinia  car  idea),  with  some 
Pink  Bell  Heath  [Erica  tetralix)  is  abundant.     This  plant 


The  Mosses 

association  is  distinctly  marked  off  from  the  surrounding 
moors  which  are  almost  exclusively  dominated  by  Heather 
on  shallow  humus. 

Perhaps  one  of  the  most  striking  and  most  extensive  of 
the  upland  morasses  is  May  Moss  on  Allerston  High  Moor, 
lying  two  miles  to  the  east  of  the  Saltersgate  Inn  on  the 
Sleights  and  Pickering  high  road.  A  vast  peat  bog,  May 
Moss  presents  features  of  unusual  interest,  and  is  situated 
near  the  heart  of  that  wilderness  of  heather-clad  land  between 
the  Murk  Esk  River  and  the  sea-board.  Northwards 
extend  the  great  moors  at  the  head  of  Iburndale,  and  to  the 
south  rises  the  cone  of  Blakey  Topping  (Fig.  47),  with  the 
bold  escarpment  of  the  Tabular  Hills  behind.  The  bog 
lies  exactly  on  the  watershed,  825  feet  above  sea-level,  and 
is  the  source  of  Eller  Beck,  a  tributary  of  the  Murk  Esk,  and 
of  two  or  three  small  streams  whose  waters  ultimately  fall 
into  the  Derwent  at  Langdale  End.  Seen  from  the  north, 
the  Moss  lies  in  a  decided  though  shallow  depression.  On 
the  east  is  the  ridge  of  High  Woof  Howe,  which  sweeps  round 
"to  the  west  and  bounds  the  bog  on  the  north  at  Worm  Syke 
Ridge.  This  latter  ridge  is  broken  by  the  narrow  valley 
of  Eller  Beck,  on  the  western  side  of  which  the  ridge  con- 
tinues as  Loose  Howe  Rigg  (not  to  be  confounded  with  Loose 
Howe  at  Rosedale  Head).  Southwards  and  westwards  the 
land  falls  away  gradually  to  the  foot  of  the  Tabular  Hills. 
The  centre  of  the  Moss  is  considerably  higher  than  the  edges, 
perhaps  ten  feet,  if  not  more.  This  elevation  of  the  centre 
of  Mosses  is  not  due  to  the  form  of  the  rock  floor  upon  which 
the  peat  has  accumulated  ;  on  the  contrary,  it  is  entirely 
due  to  the  manner  of  growth  of  the  peat  itself,  the  floor 
perhaps,  being  concave  or  sloping.  An  inverted  shallow 
saucer  gives  a  good  idea  of  this  peculiarity  of  form. 

How  thick  the  peat  is  at  May  Moss  has  not  yet  been  ascer- 
tained, but  judging  from  similar  deposits  on  the  high  moors, 
we  are  safe  in  saying  that  it  cannot  be  less  than  ten,  and 
not  much  more  than  thirty  feet  deep  in  the  middle.  Artificial 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

drains  cutting  down  to  a  depth  of  four  or  five  feet  near  the 
northern  edge  show  peat  without  tree  remains  resting  upon 
a  somewhat  clayey  soil.  Except  in  a  few  places,  the  Moss 
can  be  traversed  in  every  direction  in  the  summer,  for 
though  very  wet  at  the  surface,  it  is  solid  peat  throughout. 

Botanically,  May  Moss  must  be  classed  as  a  Tetralix 
moor,  for  the  most  abundant  plant  which  grows  upon  it 
is  the  Pink  Bell  Heath  {Erica  tetralix).  Heather  and 
Cotton  Grass  ( Eriophorum  vaginatum)  are  much  less  numer- 
ous though  otherwise  fairly  abundant.  In  consequence, 
the  Moss  presents  a  series  of  colours  at  different  times  of 
the  year.  In  early  summer  it  is  lightly  snowed  over  with 
the  white  "  Floss  Seaves  "  ;  in  July  it  becomes  a  beautiful 
pink  with  the  flowering  Heath  ;  and  before  this  has  disap- 
peared the  purple  Heather  blooms.  Abundant  as  the  Bell 
Heath  is,  it  is  not  so  gregarious  as  its  allies,  the  plants  are 
always  more  or  less  separated  from  one  another  by  slight 
interspaces.  Amidst  these  species  and  literally  soaking  wet, 
is  a  vast  carpet  of  Sphagnum  of  many  kinds  and  colours,  red, 
green  and  yellow.  Moreover,  the  mosses  themselves  are 
often  tinted  red  with  the  extended  rosetted  leaves  of  the 
Sundews  (Drosera  rotundi folia),  insectivorous  plants  that 
are  very  abundant  on  all  the  wetter  moors. 

Leaving  May  Moss,  and  travelling  westwards  for  about 
ten  miles,  the  next  moors  of  the  same  general  character  which 
we  meet  with  are  at  the  heads  of  the  Egton  Grange  Valley 
and  Glaisdale.  Here,  at  an  elevation  of  1070  feet,  and  on 
the  broad  flat  watershed  between  the  two  northern  dales 
and  Wheeldale  Gill,  are  Pike  Hill  Moss  and  Yarlsey  Moss 
(Fig.  16).  The  easiest  way  to  reach  them  is  to  walk  four  or 
five  miles  along  the  road  from  Glaisdale  to  Rosedale.  When 
near  Winter  Gill,  far  away  over  the  moor  to  the  left,  a  dark 
brown  streak  can  be  seen  against  the  slight  slope  rising  to 
the  distant  eastern  moorland  ridge.  This  streak  marks 
the  site  of  the  Pike  Hill  Moss  Peat  Pits.  By  taking  a  rough 
cart  track  sunk  deep    into    the    luxuriant    fat    moor,    we 











The  Mosses 

arrive  at  the  peat  and  at  the  heart  of  Pike  Hill  Moss  itself 
(Fig.  15).  The  face  of  the  peat  cutting  is  from  six  to  eight 
feet  high,  the  hard  white  Moor  Grit  forming  the  surface  rock, 
boulders  of  which  lie  scattered  over  the  black,  miry  ground 
at  the  base  of  the  section.  Upon  this  surface  are  rectangular 
blocks  of  peat  drying  in  the  air  and  sun.  Here  and  there 
they  will  be  found  stacked  in  pyramidal  "  rooks,"  the  blocks 
being  so  arranged  as  to  permit  the  air  to  circulate  freely 
amongst  them.  The  peat  pits  are  saturated  with  water  ; 
it  stands  in  pools  at  the  base  of  the  section  ;  it  trickles 
down  the  face  of  the  peat,  and  one's  boots  are  almost 
sucked  off  the  feet  by  the  black,  spongy  puddle.  We 
thoroughly  realise  the  wet  character  of  the  Moss,  partly  due 
to  the  heavy  rains,  and  partly  due  to  the  water-retaining 
power  of  the  peat. 

The  Pike  Hill  Peat  Holes  are  extensive,  and  the  cutting 
which  is  in  the  form  of  a  semicircle  can  be  followed  for 
half-a-mile  or  more.  In  surveying  this  section,  we  feel 
convinced  that  when  investigated  such  a  thickness  of  raw- 
humus  must  illuminate  the  problem  of  the  origin  of  the 
Moss,  and  the  succession  of  plants  which  formerly  occupied 
its  surface.  Its  plant  association  differs  considerably  from 
that  on  May  Moss,  the  dominant  species  being  Ling  and 
Cotton  Grass  (Eriophorum  vaginatum),  the  former  being 
the  more  abundant  of  the  two.  Pink  Bell  Heath  and 
Sphagnum  are  frequent,  but  not  nearly  so  numerous  as  on 
May  Moss. 

The  detailed  investigation  of  peat  in  Cleveland  has  yet 
to  be  made  before  we  can  actually  trace  the  succession  of 
plants  which  compose  these  singular  geological  deposits. 
Nevertheless,  a  brief  inspection  of  the  Pike  Hill  peat  shows 
that  it  is  quite  destitute  of  tree  remains.  We  conclude 
from  this  fact  that  at  the  time  the  Moss  began  to  form, 
the  site  was  not  wooded,  and  that  the  moor  has  either  de- 
veloped on  the  hard  moorland  grit,  or  originated  in  large 
pools  of  water. 

81  F 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Yarlsey  Moss  (Fig.  16)  is  a  westerly  extension  of  Pike 
Hill  Moss,  the  two  really  constituting  one  huge  moorland 
morass,  filling  a  slight  depression  two  miles  long  and  one 
mile  wide.  The  former  bog  has  features  of  its  own.  Instead 
of  being  a  Tetralix  Moor  or  a  Cotton  Grass  Moor  its  surface  is 
clothed  with  tall  Rushes,  principally  Juncus  communis, 
clearly  seen  in  the  illustration.  Underneath  and  between 
the  tall  plants  are  extensive  beds  of  Sphagnum,  very  wet  and 
dangerous  to  traverse.  At  intervals  no  rushes  occur,  and 
then  the  typical  Sphagnum  Bog — the  Sphagnetum — displays 
its  treacherous  nature.  Why  Rushes  should  dominate 
here,  Cotton  Grass  and  Ling  on  Pike  Hill,  and  Pink  Bell 
Heath  on  May  Moss,  are  botanical  problems  not  easily 
answered.  Surrounding  the  two  Mosses  are  magnificent 
fat  moors  clothed  with  finely-grown  Heather,  and  bright 
carpets  of  green  and  red  Bilberry.  In  the  case  of  Yarlsey 
Moss  the  junction  between  the  two  kinds  of  moor  is  very 
distinct,  the  Heather  and  Rushes  forming  a  clear  line  with 
here  and  there  a  tongue  or  promontory  of  Ling  penetrating 
far  into  the  heart  of  the  morass.  Unlike  the  two  pre- 
ceding, these  Mosses  do  not  exhibit  any  marked  convexity 
of  outline,  but  are  almost  flat. 

South  and  east  of  the  elevated  ridge  between  Glaisdale 
and  Great  Fryup,  known  as  Cock  Heads,  lie  some  very 
extensive  moss  moors  whose  vegetation  consists  chiefly 
of  Heather  and  Cotton  Grass,  though  where  the  moor  has 
been  burnt  the  sedge  prevails,  owing  to  the  resistance  its 
stout  rootstock  opposes  to  fire.  At  an  elevation  of  about 
1250  feet,  the  peat,  nearly  six  feet  thick,  is  composed  of 
Sphagnum,  and  on  the  floor  of  some  peat  holes  Ling  grows 
most  luxuriantly,  and  sometimes  patches  of  the  Heath  Rush 
occur  with  encircling  rings  of  Heather. 

The  head  waters  of  Wheeldale  Gill  rise  in  the  Cock  Heads 
Peat  Moss,  and  if  the  tiny  rivulets  are  followed  downstream, 
we  meet  with  some  of  the  most  interesting  sections,  and 
perhaps    the    most    extensive    turbaries   in    North-Eastern 


The  Mosses 

Yorkshire,  those  of  Flat  Howe  and  Bluewath.  West  of 
Flat  Howe  and  south  of  the  Cock  Heads  shooting  box,  the 
peat  is  from  six  to  eight  feet  thick,  and  exhibits  the  fol- 
lowing succession  of  deposits  : — 

Sphagnum  Peat 2  feet. 

Cotton  Grass  Peat  full  of  sheaths  of 
E.  angustifolium 

Birch  Zone 2  feet. 

Basal  Peat,  massive  . .  . .     2  feet  or  more. 

The  Birch  zone  is  very  well-defined,  and  consists  of  the 
Cotton  Grass  peat  full  of  Birch  bark  and  branches  evidently 
derived  from  small  trees  or  shrubs.  A  little  to  the  south, 
in  some  sections,  this  Birch  zone  disappears,  though  further 
downstream  the  peat  has  been  stripped  to  the  rocky  floor 
on  which  repose  numerous  Birch  stools,  and  occasionally 
remains  of  Mountain  Ash. 

Between  Cock  Heads  and  Shunner  Howe  stretches  another 
large  moss  moor,  and  from  the  preceding  Flat  Howe  Peat 
Holes  we  pass  down  stream  to  the  Bluewath  Peat  Holes  on 
the  side  of  Bluewath  Gill  above  the  bridge  on  the  road  to 
Rosedale.  The  moor  slopes  down  to  the  gill,  and  the  peat 
holes  extend  along  the  south-west  bank  of  the  stream.  Tree 
remains  occur  here,  but  not  in  any  defined  band,  and  are 
usually  sporadic.  The  peat  must  be  twenty  feet  in  depth, 
if  not  more. 

The  moors  of  the  watershed  between  Bluewath  and  Urra, 
though  not  known  as  Mosses,  so  evidently  belong  to  this 
class,  that  they  cannot  be  omitted  in  any  account  of  local 
moss  vegetation.  As  a  whole  the  plant  life  of  this  area 
consists  essentially  of  Cotton  Grass  (Eriophorum  vaginatum) 
and  Heather  ;  the  former  being  dominant  in  a  few  localities, 
notably  on  the  moor  between  Loose  Howe  and  Ralph  Cross 
at  Rosedale  Head  (see  Fig.  40).  This  moor  is  underlain  by 
moderately  deep  peat  (two  to  three  feet),  the  surface  is 
very  wet  and  dotted  with  pools,  Sphagnum  is  abundant, 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

and  the  Heath  Rush  is  sub-dominant.  With  the  latter  are 
Ling  and  Pink  Bell  Heath  as  associates.  Such  comparatively 
pure  Cotton  Grass  moors  or  Eriophoreta  are  not  wide-spread 
upon  or  even  characteristic  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands.  That 
locally  scarce  bog  plant,  the  Cranberry  (Oxycoccus  palustris) 
is  stated  by  Mr.  Baker  to  grow  on  these  moors,  but  so  far 
I  have  never  met  with  the  species  in  this  locality.*  It  is 
restricted  to  wet  peat  bogs,  trailing  over  the  Bog  Moss.  It 
plays  a  very  minor  role  in  moor  formation. 

Near  Loose  Howe,  at  1419  feet,  there  is  a  section  in  peat 
about  six  feet  thick,  lying  on  a  gentle  southern  slope,  without 
however,  the  slightest  trace  of  any  trees  (Fig.  17).  A  little 
to  the  north  of  the  Howe,  near  Trough  House,  at  Seavy 
Hill  Peat  Pits,  there  is  another  excellent  exposure  in  the 
hill  peat  which  presents  similar  features.  On  the  western 
side  of  Danby  Rigg,  almost  in  a  line  with  Trough  House, 
similar  peat  may  be  observed  resting  on  the  hard  moorland 
grits.  I  have  been  unable  to  obtain  any  evidence  as  to 
trunks  ever  having  been  found  in  the  peat  holes,  but  we 
cannot  deny  that  they  may  exist. 

Further  westwards,  on  the  northern  slope  of  Stony  Ridge, 
a  section  about  four  feet  deep  was  also  destitute  of  tree 
remains.  So  far  as  can  be  gleaned  from  the  scanty  expo- 
sures round  and  upon  Stony  Ridge,  the  hill  peat  here  con- 
tains no  trees. 

Between  the  heads  of  Baysdale  and  Bransdale,  Cotton 
Grass  and  Heather  prevail ;  but  the  summits  of  the  Cleveland 
Hills  are  not  characterised  by  this  type  of  vegetation  since 
the  surface  is  well  drained  and  slopes  rapidly  southwards. 

Omitting  the  Mosses  of  the  slacks  with  which  we  shall 
deal  in  Chapter  VI.,  there  is  no  other  extensive  development 
of  peat  bogs  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  except  on  Arden 
Great  Moor,  on  the  summit  of  the  Tabular  Range,  south  of 
Black  Hambleton,  where,  at  an  altitude  of  1200  feet,  a  large 

*  "  North  Yorkshire." 

The  Mosses 

peaty  area  is  termed  the  Mosses,  an  altogether  exceptional 
and  singular  example  in  many  ways. 

In  the  first  place,  Arden  Great  Moor  is  perceptibly  higher 
in  the  centre,  due,  I  think,  to  the  form  of  the  rock  floor  which 
consists  in  part  of  geologically  higher  beds  than  the  Lower 
Calcareous  Grit ;  although  some  of  the  convexity  may  be 
owing  to  bog  formation.  In  the  second  place,  the  moor  is 
not  strictly  speaking  a  Moss,  whatever  it  may  have  been 
when  the  name  was  applied.  Heather  and  Cotton  Grass  ( E. 
vaginahim),  in  monotonous  abundance,  are  the  chief  plants  ; 
the  latter  sometimes  quite  pure  and  covering  considerable 
areas.  Moreover,  owing  to  the  dryness  of  the  surface,  there 
is  an  almost  total  absence  of  Sphagnum  and  other  moorland 
bog  plants.  In  truth,  the  two  species  mentioned  are  the 
sole  occupants  of  the  ground  ;  and  a  more  poverty-stricken 
moor,  so  far  as  variety  of  plants  is  concerned,  it  has  rarely 
been  my  lot  to  observe.  Generally  the  flora  of  the  Eastern 
Moorlands  is,  when  compared  with  similar  regions,  singularly 
poor  in  species,  a  remarkable  feature  to  which  we  shall  refer 

Clear  sections  in  the  peat  are  rare,  but  the  following  were 
measured  in  gullies — the  first  towards  the  western  margin, 
the  second  towards  the  centre  : — 

Sections  in  the  Mosses,  Arden  Great  Moor. 

Peat  . .  . .  . .     2-3  feet. 

Discontinuous  line  of  white  grit  pebbles. 
Clayey  sand  . .  . .     No  traces  of  pan. 

Peat  . .  . .  . .     2-6  feet,  variable. 

White  pebbles  of  Lower  Calcareous  Grit. 
Band  of  thin  pan  . .  . .     \-\  inch  thick. 

Clayey  soil. 

It  will  be  noticed  that  these  sections  differ  from  those  of 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

other  moors,  in  the  presence  of  a  layer  of  pebbles.  Pan,  as 
a  rule,  does  not  exist  under  deep  peat  in  North-E astern  York- 
shire, and  the  band  on  Arden  Great  Moor  is  very  thin  and 

We  have  now  described  the  principal  Mosses  and  their 
peat  beds,  and  with  the  facts  before  us,  are  in  a  position  to 
understand  their  origin.  Unfortunately,  we  are  unable  to 
follow  the  evolution  of  a  Moss  in  detail  owing  to  the  absence 
of  comparative  data  ;  we  can  only  infer  it  in  an  imperfect 
way  from  scattered  observations.  Moreover,  as  before 
stated,  until  the  peat  has  been  minutely  examined  layer  by 
layer,  we  cannot  say  for  certain  what  has  been  the  actual  suc- 
cession of  events  in  their  formation.  Still,  with  the  data  to  hand 
and  with  conclusions  derived  from  other  districts,  we  can  form 
a  tolerably  accurate  conception  of  the  history  of  a  Moss. 

Their  distribution  is  easily  explained  ;    they  cover  those 
areas  where  the  rainfall  is  highest,  where  the  ground  is  flat 
or  hollow,  and  the  drainage  bad.     In  the  west  of  Yorkshire, 
Cotton  Grass  bogs  extend  over  many  square  miles  on  the 
Pennines  where  precipitation  is  high  ;    higher,  even,  than 
on  the  watershed  of  Black-a-more.     It  is  noteworthy  that 
the    Mosses   on    Arden    Great    Moor    occur  at  the  western 
end  of  the  Tabular  Hills,  where  the  rainfall  is  probably 
more    copious    than    elsewhere    along    the    range.         The 
leaching  action  of  the  heavy  rains  must  have  dissolved  away 
a  large  amount  of  mineral  matter  from  the  rocks  ;   so  much 
so  that  in  places  the   Mosses    overlie   the   lower   Corallian 
limestones !     As  a  rocky  surface  poor  in  plant  food  is  regarded 
as  almost  absolutely  essential  for  the  development  of  such 
moors,  we  have  here  one  reason  for  this  remarkable  feature, 
since  limestones  do  not,    as  a  rule,  support  heath  vegeta- 
tion.*    The  heavy  rainfall  of  the  high  moors  may,  there- 
fore, be  considered  as  the  primary  cause  in  determining 
their  characteristics  and  leading  to  the  accumulation  of 
large  deposits  of  acid  humus  or  peat. 

*  Graebner,  op.  cit.,  p.  96. 


The  Mosses 

In  describing  the  origin  of  the  peat  or  raw  humus  of 
fat  moors,  we  pointed  out  that  several  causes  conspire 
to  produce  this  substance,  the  chief  being  the  exclusion  of 
oxygen  and  the  presence  of  water.  What  we  here  have  to 
recognise  is  that  the  great  peat  deposits  of  the  Mosses 
originate  in  the  same  way,  but  in  this  case  Bog  Moss  or 
Sphagnum  becomes  the  principal  component.  It  would 
take  up  too  much  space  to  describe  the  peculiarities  of  these 
remarkable  plants,  found  everywhere  in  damp  and  wet 
situations  upon  the  moors  where  the  chemical  nature  of 
the  soil  and  water  is  favourable  to  their  development.* 
It  is  upon  the  physical  and  biological  properties  of  these 
humble  plants,  combined  with  the  special  climatic  and 
edaphic  conditions  prevailing  on  the  watershed,  that  the 
characteristics  of  the  Mosses  depend.  Sphagna  are  pecu- 
liarly adapted  for  living  in  water  ;  their  structure  is  an 
admirable  contrivance  for  retaining  and  absorbing  water  ; 
they  can  conduct  it  rapidly  through  their  tissues,  a  capacity 
which  can  be  easily  tested  by  placing  their  lower  ends  in 
coloured  water,  when,  in  a  few  minutes,  the  plants  will  be 
of  a  similar  tint,  even  to  the  rosette  of  short  branches  at 
their  upper  extremities. 

Further,  the  position  of  a  moss  moor  affords  an  important 
clue  to  its  mode  of  development.  So  far  as  the  high 
moors  are  concerned,  we  find  that  May  Moss,  Yarlsey  Moss 
and  Harwood  Dale  Moss  occur  in  shallow  depressions  ; 
others,  such  as  that  on  Arden  Great  Moor,  occur  on  almost 
flat  land  ;  that  at  Bluewath  is  on  a  gently  inclined  surface  ; 
whilst  others,  such  as  those  on  Stony  Ridge  and  Loose 
Howe,  are  on  comparatively  steep  slopes.  A  characteristic 
which  most  of  the  Mosses  present  in  common  is  an  imper- 
vious, or  but  moderately  pervious  rock  floor,  at  least  wher- 
ever this  can  be  examined,  as  at  May  Moss,  Arden  Moor, 
and  elsewhere.     It  is  probably  owing  to  this  circumstance 

*  An  excellent  account  of  Bog  Moss  will  be  found  in  Sir  Edward 
Fry's  "  British  Mosses." 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

that  pan  is  so  poorly  developed  or  absent  from  these  moors, 
for  the  clayey  nature  of  the  soil  prevents  that  percolation 
of  water  bearing  humic  acids  which  leads  to  the  deposition 
of  this  substance.  If  we  suppose  these  moors  to  be  stripped 
of  their  vegetable  and  peaty  covering,  as  they  must  have 
been  at  some  period  in  their  history,  the  heavy  rainfall 
would  produce  a  water-logged  condition  of  the  surface  ; 
and,  though  we  cannot  be  certain,  it  appears  not  unlikely 
that  at  Harwood  Dale,  May  Moss,  and  Yarlsey  Moss,  the 
depressions  were  perhaps  originally  the  site  of  large  pools 
or  even  of  small  lakes. 

Confining  our  attention  to  the  three  Mosses  in  question, 
we  have  a  key  to  their  mode  of  development  in  the  vegeta- 
tion of  old  peat  holes,  such  as  those  on  Blakey  Ridge,  be- 
tween Thorgill  and  Rosedale  Bank  Top,  where  the  flat 
surface  of  a  Heather  and  Cotton  Grass  moor  (E.  vaginatum) 
is  covered  with  a  layer  of  peat  about  four  or  five  feet  thick, 
which  has  been  excavated  in  a  series  of  shallow  cuttings 
since  abandoned.  In  all  the  hollows  water  has  collected  ; 
some  present  an  undisturbed  sheet  ;  others  have  thin  films 
of  green  algae  and  Bog  Mosses  floating  in  them.  At  a  more 
advanced  stage  we  find  Sphagnum  covering  the  water ; 
whilst  some  pools  are  choked  up  with  plants  from  the  bottom 
to  the  surface.  In  these  we  notice  the  occasional  growth  of 
Rushes,  and  more  frequently  Eriophorum  angustifolium. 
The  final  stage  in  the  infilling  of  old  turbaries  is  represented 
by  the  appearance  of  E.  vaginatum  in  abundance  together 
with  sporadic  clumps  of  Heather.  Fig.  19  represents  an 
old  peat  digging,  near  St.  Helena  House  in  Danby  Dale  ; 
here  we  see  the  Cotton  Grass  (E.  angustifolium)  flourish- 
ing with  Rushes  in  water  before  much  Sphagnum  has 

In  some  districts,  particularly  lowland  moors,  the  first 
stage  in  the  formation  of  a  Moss  is  the  luxuriant  growth  of 
a  "  fen  "  vegetation  which  consists  of  Reeds  (Phragmites 
communis),   Prickly    Cladium    (Cladium    mariscum),   Lake 


Photo  Fig.  20. — Molinietum  or  Flying  Ben  1  .Moor. 


[Frank  Elgee. 

Pho  0 

Fig.  _' 1 .     The  Moors  from   Lastingham.        [Godfrey  Bingicy 

The  Mosses 

Scirpus  (Scirpus  lacustris),  and  other  species.*  Fen  plants, 
though  growing  in  wet  places,  are  very  distinct  from  those  of 
moorland  bogs,  principally  owing  to  the  character  of  the 
water  in  which  they  live,  this  being  relatively  richer  in 
mineral  salts,  and  of  subterranean  origin.  A  poor  siliceous 
soil  may  support  a  fen  association  for  a  time,  when  the 
mineral  content  is  somewhat  richer  owing  to  the  presence 
of  numerous  springs,  but  the  gradual  exhaustion  of  the  soil 
by  percolating  rain  water  and  the  growth  of  peat  cause  this 
type  of  vegetation  to  disappear,  and  moorland  bog  plants, 
Cotton  Grass,  Sphagnum,  etc.,  appear  on  the  scene.  As  yet 
we  have  no  evidence  that  this  stage  has  ever  existed  on  the 
high  moors,  though  it  seems  to  have  been  the  case  with 
some  of  the  Mosses  of  the  slacks  (see  Chapter  VI.).  There 
is  no  reason  why  this  type  should  not  have  been  an  early 
stage  in  the  formation  of  the  higher  Mosses,  for  on  the  upland 
moors  of  the  Pennines  the  Common  Reed  has  been  detected 
in  the  peat  deposits,  f  and  I  have  myself  found  the  same 
plant  growing  with  Cotton  Grass  in  a  peaty  pool  on  Danby 
Low  Moor.  A  thorough  study  of  the  local  peat  will  alone 
settle  this  interesting  problem. 

Supposing  the  early  stages  of  Harwood  Dale,  May  Moss, 
and  Yarlsey  Moss  not  to  have  been  marked  by  a  fen  vege- 
tation, then  the  sequence  of  events  in  their  history  may 
have  been  somewhat  as  follows  : — Bog  Moss  would  first 
appear  in  the  water,  probably  round  the  margins,  or,  as 
must  often  be  the  case,  floating  on  the  surface  in  the  centre 
of  the  pools.  In  time  the  Sphagna  would  cover  the  whole 
surface  with  a  floating  bright  green  carpet  of  some  consider- 
able thickness,  a  stage  known  as  the  Sphagnetum  and  very 
typical  of  the  bogs  of  Ireland,  though  seen  only  sporadically 
in  small  ponds  on  the  Eastern  Moorlands  to-day.  The 
plants  sink  to  the  bottom  when  they  die,  and  there  accumu- 
late ;    and,  being  sheltered  from  the  action  of  the  atmos- 

*  "  Types  of  British  Vegetation,"  p.  257. 
■f  Op.   cit.,   p.   270. 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

phere,  they  form  those  immense  beds  of  peat  so  character- 
istic of  Mosses.  All  the  other  causes  which  contribute  to 
the  formation  of  acid  humus  are  actively,  nay  more  actively 
at  work  in  a  Sphagnum  bog  than  on  fat  moors.  Bacteria, 
worms  and  grubs  are  practically  absent  ;  the  thick  growth 
of  the  Mosses  on  the  surface  of  the  water  prevents  access 
of  oxygen  ;  and  the  humic  acids  resulting  from  the  reduction 
of  the  plant  remains  are  of  a  highly  preservative  and  anti- 
septic nature.  If  we  poke  a  stick  into  one  of  these  morasses, 
bubbles  of  marsh  gas  and  sulphuretted  hydrogen  are  libera- 
ted, and  sometimes  on  hot  summer  days,  after  rain,  such  a 
bog  has  a  powerful  odour  owing  to  the  escape  of  these  gases. 
If  they  ignite,  Will-o'-the-Wisps  dance  over  the  surface  ; 
but,  so  far,  I  have  never  observed  any  on  the  Eastern  Moor- 
lands, nor  even  heard  of  their  having  been  seen,  though  there 
is  no  reason  why  they  should  not  be  present. 

The  pools  finally  become  filled  with  thick  peat  upon  whose 
wet  surface,  Sphagnum,  though  abundant,  will  be  inter- 
spersed with  other  ericetal  plants.  What  these  later  species 
will  be  depends  upon  a  variety  of  factors.  If  the  water  is 
not  too  acid,  and  still  contains  some  mineral  matter  derived 
from  the  subjacent  rocks,  Rushes  {J uncus  conglomeratus 
and  effusus)  may  be  the  first  to  colonise  the  swamp,  as  at 
Yarlsey  Moss,  and  in  hundreds  of  small  swamps  all  over 
the  moors.  That  these  plants  actually  need  a  richer  food 
seems  probable  when  we  observe  their  luxuriant  growth 
in  bogs  caused  by  springs,  in  the  waters  of  which  larger 
quantities  of  dissolved  mineral  salts  must  of  necessity  be 
present.  More  frequently  on  the  typical  Moss,  Cotton  Grass 
(Eriophorum  angustifolium)  is  the  first  species  to  grow  in 
the  pools  that  rest  upon  the  deep  peat  (see  Fig.  19).  When 
these  have  become  filled  up,  E.  angustifolium  is  superseded 
by  its  ally,  E.  vaginatum,  which  prefers  less  damp  situations. 
With  this  last  species  comes  the  Pink  Bell  Heath  and  to  a 
less  extent  the  Heather,  as  well  as  the  rarer  bog  plants, 
Sundew,  Bog  Asphodel,  Cranberry,  etc. 


The  Mosses 

It  is  possible  that  the  convexity  of  the  surface  first  arises 
during  the  Sphagnetum  stage  of  a  Moss  developing  in  water, 
for  when  the  layer  of  Bog  Moss  has  attained  a  sufficient 
consistency,  every  shower  of  rain  not  only  increases  the 
volume  of  water  retained  by  the  plants,  but  some  passing 
through,  adds  to  the  volume  of  water  beneath.  Conse- 
quently, the  centre  of  the  bog  being  the  point  of  least  re- 
sistance, yields  more  readily  than  the  circumference  (where 
the  mosses  are  thicker  and  the  water  is  shallower)  to  the 
pressure  of  the  underlying  liquid,  and  becomes  more  or 
less  elevated  above  the  original  level  of  the  pool.  In  Ire- 
land, continual  heavy  rains  have  been  known  so  to  augment 
the  pressure  and  the  amount  of  water  retained  by  the  Sphag- 
num, that  the  huge  raft  of  vegetation  bursts  and  the  contents 
of  the  bog  are  destructively  precipitated  over  adjacent 
tracts  of  country. 

Since  the  above  explanation  occurred  to  me,  I  have 
studied  the  causes  assigned  to  this  phenomenon  by  other 
workers  in  this  department  of  science.  Sir  Edward  Fry 
attributes  the  convexity  solely  to  the  power  that  Sphagnum 
has  of  being  able  to  hold  up  large  bodies  of  water  against 
gravitation.  Irish  bogs,  for  instance,  are  sometimes  so 
high  in  the  middle  "  that  they  reach  the  height  of  the  church- 
steeples  of  the  adjoining  country  without  any  rising  ground 
intervening."*  Why  this  lifting  capacity  should  act  more 
effectively  in  the  centre  than  at  the  edges  is  not  clear  unless 
it  is  that  at  this  place  there  is  more  liquid  to  absorb.  Bog 
Mosses  undoubtedly  retain  large  quantities  of  water  on  the 
slopes  of  mountains,  hills  and  moors  ;  but  it  is  not  at  all 
clear  how  this  is  going  to  elevate  a  bog  in  the  centre.  If 
we  examine  the  Mosses  and  bogs  on  the  Eastern  Moorlands, 
we  invariably  find  that  those  occurring  in  sloping  hollows 
near  springs,  those  on  slopes  and  flats  such  as  Bluewath 
Loose  Howe,  etc.,  and  particularly  those  that  occur  in  slacks, 
are  very  little  higher  in  the  centre  than  at  the  edges  ;  and  if 

*  "  British  Mosses,"  p.  55. 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

we  ask  what  feature  these  bogs  have  in  common  and  in  what 
way  they  differ  from  those  which  are  convex,  we  find  it  to 
be  in  the  fact  that  there  always  is  and  always  must  have 
been  an  escape  for  superfluous  water.  Whereas  in  the  case 
of  May  Moss  and  Harwood  Dale  Moss,  though  lateral  escapes 
now  exist  for  the  superfluous  drainage,  a  careful  considera- 
tion of  the  ground  has  led  me  to  the  conclusion  that  during 
the  earlier  stages  of  their  history  such  escapes  either  did 
not  exist  or  were  sporadic.  It  is  clear  that  where  the  effluent 
drainage  is  equal  to  or  greater  than  the  inflow  there  can  be 
no  convexity  of  surface.  Two  old  peat  bogs — the  Gale 
Field  near  Goathland  Church,  and  the  Kildale  Carrs,  present- 
ly to  be  described — are  both  higher  in  the  centre  ;  yet  there 
is  no  apparent  drainage  out  of  them. 

Continental  investigators  ascribe  the  convexity  to  the 
centrifugal  growth  of  Sphagnum  itself.*  Where  Sphagnum 
bosses  growing  alone  are  observed,  they  almost  invariably 
possess  a  convex  shape,  resembling  a  bowl  turned  upside 
down.  I  have  observed  them  round  Bracken  stems,  with 
Crowberry  and  Bent  Grass  (Agrostis  canina)  growing  on  or 
through  them.  From  this  it  is  easy  to  see  that  the  continual 
growth  of  the  mosses  around  the  periphery  will  produce,  in 
time,  a  bog  of  the  same  form.  From  this  view,  a  moss  moor 
is  merely  a  gigantic  boss  of  Sphagnum.  The  probability  is 
that  the  three  causes  indicated  have  all  contributed  to 
produce  the  singular  convexity  of  some  Mosses.  If  the 
Sphagna  first  flourished  in  water  in  the  manner  described 
above,  then,  after  the  surface  had  become  a  sheet  of  vegeta- 
tion, the  pressure  of  the  underlying  liquid,  the  lifting  power 
of  the  plants,  and  their  peculiar  manner  of  growth,  would 
all  co-operate  to  elevate  the  centre  of  the  bog.  If  the  moss 
moors  originated  on  the  bare  ground  or  in  water-logged 
hollows  scattered  here  and  there  over  the  uneven  surface 
of  the  soil,  then  the  third  factor,  and  to  a  less  extent  the 
second,  would  cause  the  elevation. 

*  Schroter  and  Friih,  "  Die  Moore  der  Schweiz,"  p.  78. 


The  Mosses 

By  the  time  a  Moss  has  become  clothed  with  Cotton  Grass 
and  Heather  the  peat  has  attained  a  considerable  thickness 
and  is  solid  throughout.  Having  absorbed  all  the  water 
of  the  original  site,  the  Sphagna  become  more  and  more 
consolidated,  and  the  general  wetness  of  the  surface  is 
maintained  by  the  heavy  rains  of  the  hills  and  the  super- 
saturation  of  the  raw  humus.  Were  evaporation  from  the 
Moss  to  exceed  the  supply  of  water  from  all  sources,  aerial 
or  telluric,  the  bog  would  slowly  dry  and  ultimately  possess 
a  very  different  plant  community,  probably  including  trees. 
Some  of  the  shallower  moss  moors  may,  in  the  past,  have 
thus  covered  a  wider  area,  but  have  been  converted  into 
Heather  moors  through  the  somewhat  suicidal  action  of 
Sphagnum,  which,  absorbing  all  the  surface  water,  and  not 
being  replenished  by  a  sufficiency  of  rain,  has  had  to  yield 
to  the  dominating  Heather.  That  this  has  been  the  mode 
of  origin  of  many  fat  moors  encircling  the  Mosses  of 
the  watershed  cannot,  I  think,  be  doubted,  when  we  reflect 
on  the  thickness  of  the  raw  humus  on  which  they  occur,  and 
the  hummocky  and  irregular  surface  that  ensues. 

In  the  lower  valleys  there  are  two  peat  beds  which  have 
progressed  towards  a  dry  stage.  Such  is  the  Gale  Field, 
near  Goathland  Church.  Higher  in  the  centre  than  at  the 
circumference,  the  Gale  Field  has  arisen  in  the  way  indi- 
cated ;  but  its  surface  is  now  almost  dry  with  much  grass, 
occasional  tufts  of  Cotton  Sedge,  and  sporadic  Sweet  Gale, 
the  latter  plant  being  rarely  seen  on  the  higher  Mosses. 
More  remarkable  from  a  botanical  standpoint,  though  much 
damper  than  the  preceding,  is  the  great  peat  carr  dividing 
the  drainage  of  the  Leven  from  that  of  the  Esk,  at  the  upper 
end  of  Kildale.  Here  the  convex  surface  of  the  peat  supports 
a  very  distinct  plant  association  somewhat  resembling 
the  vegetation  on  Hutton  Mulgrave  Moor,  described  in 
the  last  chapter.  The  most  abundant  species  are  the  Mat 
Grass  ( Nardus  stricta)  and  the  Tufted  Club  Rush  (Scirpus 
casfitosa),  with  a  sporadic  diffusion  of  Cotton  Grass  (Erio- 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

phorum  angusti folium).     Intermingled  with  these  are  beds 
of    Carex   glauca,  an    abundance   of   Tormentil    (Potentilla 
tormentilla),  and  scanty  patches  of  ill-grown  Bilberry  and 
Ling.    In  winter  a  fine  carpet  of  lichens  of  the  genus  Cladonia, 
principally  Reindeer  Moss,  is  a  conspicuous  element  amongst 
the  Sphagnum  plants  which  still  play  a  large  part  in  the 
botany  of  this  unique  piece  of  moorland.     Towards   the 
margins  the  peat  is  much  drier  and  supports  grasses,  such 
as   Nardus,    Agrostis,  Molinia,    Aira  flexuosa,  and    Antho- 
xanthum  odoratum.     At  the  eastern  end,  in  some  old  peat 
cuttings,  there  is  a  rich  growth  of  Eriophorum  angusti  folium 
and  the  Pink  Bell  Heath  with  the  Common  Tormentil  in 
the   wettest   places.      This    typical    bog   vegetation   is   in 
marked  contrast  to  the  drier  grass  land  on  the  summit  of 
the  cuttings!     Here   and  there  Gorse  bushes  occur,  even 
towards  the  highest  part  of  the  peat  carr,  and  formerly 
Birch  and  Mountain  Ash  also  grew  on  the  peat,  for  not  only 
do  their  remains  occur  in  it  but  an  occasional  tree  still 
flourishes  near  the  north-western  corner.     That  trees  were 
once  numerous  may  be  inferred    from  the  old  name,  peat 
carr,  the  latter  word  being  usually  applied  to  swampy  land 
overgrown  with  brushwood.     This  would  indicate  that  at 
one  time  the  ground  may  have  been  even  drier  than  it  is  at 
present  ;    but  that  the  carr  is  slowly  drying  up  again  is 
testified  by  the  surrounding  ring  of  grass  vegetation  with 
Gorse    that    is    slowly    advancing    towards    the  centre.     I 
would  ascribe  the  comparative  dryness  of  these  two  peat 
moors  to  the  excess  of  evaporation  over  the  rainfall,  which 
is  much  less  in  the  valleys  than  on  the  watershed.     More- 
over, there  does  not  appear  to  be  any  escape  for  their  water 
which,  owing  to  the  position  of  both,  is  largely  atmospheric. 
The  development  of  moss  moors  on  flat  land  and  slopes 
has  followed  a  similar  course,  but  here  the  original  conditions 
have  probably  been  different.    If  we  take  the  one  at  Bluewath 
Beck,  we  find  the  peat  resting  upon  thick  clay,  and  from 
this  we  must  conclude  that  formerly  the  surface  was  water- 


The  Mosses 

logged  and  peat  formed  in  the  usual  way.  But  another 
factor  has  undoubtedly  come  into  play,  and  that  is  the 
growth  of  the  bog  down  the  slope,  a  process  which  seems 
to  have  occurred  during  the  early  history  of  the  moor.  To 
understand  how  thick  peat  deposits  could  have  arisen  on 
these  slopes  is  puzzling,  for  when  the  underlying  soil  was 
destitute  of  vegetation  the  rain  would  readily  drain  away, 
whilst  some  of  it  would  percolate  through  less  impervious 
strata.  But  the  difficulty  disappears  when  it  is  remembered 
that  no  slope  is  perfectly  regular,  that  some  of  the  rocks 
are  impervious,  and  consequently  pools  of  water  would 
collect  in  hollows  and  become  filled  with  Sphagnum,  which 
could  hold  up  larger  and  larger  volumes  of  water  as  it  spread. 
At  the  same  time  the  growth  of  peat  on  the  summits  of  such 
ridges  as  Loose  Howe  and  Stony  Ridge  would  gradually 
enable  the  Bog  Mosses  to  extend  down  the  slopes  and  join 
those  growing  in  the  hollows.  Other  slopes,  such  as  that 
at  Cock  Heads,  owing  to  the  porosity  of  the  strata  rising 
above  the  peat  moor,  do  not  possess  a  very  mossy  vege- 
tation ;  but,  although  the  peat  is  somewhat  thick,  it  supports 
Bilberry  and  Ling.  It  is  possible  that  the  presence  of  Bil- 
berry is  also  partly  due  to  the  great  elevation  and  to  the 
exposed  situation  of  this  area  of  the  moors.  In  the  West 
Riding,  Drs.  Smith  and  Moss  record  what  they  term  a 
Bilberry  summit  where  on  the  highest  ridges  of  the  Pennines, 
Bilberry  is  the  sole  plant.  Altitude  is  not,  however,  the 
chief  factor  in  determing  its  existence  ;  the  essential  feature 
is  that  it  is  exposed  to  all  conditions  of  weather.*  These 
Bilberry  summits  rise  above  the  moss  moors  dominated 
by  Cotton  Grass,  and  the  occurrence  of  the  Bilberry  on  the 
Cock  Heads  ridge  may  be  an  approach  to  this  type  of  vege- 

Once  the  surface  of  a  slope  becomes  covered  with  Bog 
Moss,   the  peat   gradually  increases  in   thickness.     In   all 

*  "  Geographical  Distribution  of  Vegetation  in  Yorkshire,  Leeds  and 
Halifax  District,"  pp.  12-13. 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

instances  where  it  exists  at  valley  heads  it  has  probably 
originated  in  the  way  described.  During  the  development 
of  the  sloping  moss  moors,  dwarf  trees  or  scrub  has  occa- 
sionally grown  upon  them.  In  this  respect  the  Bluewath 
Peat  is  unique,  for  the  section  clearly  shows  that  the  Moss 
first  formed  on  the  bare  ground  until  a  considerable  depth 
of  peat  accumulated.  Then  Birch  scrub  flourished  upon 
it  ;  though  whether  this  was  due  to  a  drier  climate  super- 
vening for  a  few  years,  thus  making  the  surface  more  suitable 
for  the  growth  of  such  shrubs,  cannot  at  present  be  decided. 
It  appears  to  have  been  a  very  local  phase  since  other  sec- 
tions in  the  same  locality  only  reveal  the  presence  of  occa- 
sional trees,  some  of  which  are  to  be  observed  with  their 
roots  in  the  underlying  rock.  If  the  downward  growth  of 
such  moss  moors  has  actually  taken  place,  the  bogs  would 
encroach  on  the  wooded  higher  reaches  of  the  gills  falling 
into  the  dales.  For  where  hill  peat  is  traced  downstream 
until  it  becomes  valley  peat,  this  latter  almost  invariably 
contains  the  remains  of  trees.  Thus  at  Pike  Hill  Moss, 
the  hill  peat  passes  into  valley  peat  at  the  head  of  Collier 
Gill,  a  stream  rising  in  the  Moss  and  flowing  into  Wheeldale 
Gill.  Here,  at  an  elevation  of  iooo  feet,  the  thick  peat  is 
full  of  the  bark  and  trunks  of  small  Birches  ;  but  on  the  flat 
morass,  only  seventy  feet  higher,  no  traces  of  the  plant 
can  be  found  (Fig.  18).  The  trees  have  evidently  been 
engulfed  by  the  downward  growth  of  the  bog,  and  thus  the 
site  of  an  upland  wood  has  been  converted  into  fat 

It  is  not  improbable  that  many  of  the  Cotton  Grass  and 
Heather  moors  of  the  watershed  have  developed  on  the  bare 
ground,  but  as  to  the  actual  stages  in  their  formation  we 
have  no  evidence.  The  process,  as  it  occurs  in  North  Ger- 
many, has  been  described  by  Graebner  (op.  cit.  p.  94),  but 
it  may  have  been  quite  different  here.  Three  stages  are 
indicated  by  Graebner — a  preliminary  stage  when  algae 
colonise  the  damp  surface  and  form  a  thin  humus  ;    then, 


The  Mosses 

numerous  damp-loving  moor  plants  settle  upon  the  humus, 
Molinia,  Heath  Rush,  Sundews,  Pink  Bell  Heath,  Cranberry, 
etc.  ;  next  Bog  Mosses  begin  to  flourish  among  the  higher 
plants,  the  separate  cushions  of  moss  unite  and  form  a 
continuous  layer.  Peat  afterwards  begins  to  accumulate  ; 
many  of  the  earlier  plants  disappear ;  and  the  moss  plants, 
Cotton  Grass,  Club  Rush,  Sweet  Gale  become  dominant.  In 
some  such  way  as  this,  the  Mosses  of  Arden  Great  Moor 
must  have  arisen  ;  but  for  reasons  which  are  as  yet  un- 
known, they  have  become  much  drier  and  support  Heather 
and  Cotton  Grass  only,  Bog  Moss  and  other  typical  wet 
moorland  plants  being  rare  or  quite  absent. 

To  ascertain  the  age  of  the  hill  peat  is  by  no  means  easy, 
for  this  substance  varies  very  considerably  in  its  rate  of 
formation.  Since  the  deepest  layers  began  to  form,  thou- 
sands of  years  or  only  a  few  centuries  may  have  elapsed. 
If  the  lower  layers  could  be  shown  to  contain  the  remains 
of  Arctic  plants  then  the  peat  would  date  back  to  the  close 
of  the  Ice  Age,  but  until  this  has  been  determined  we  have 
no  clue  as  to  the  antiquity  of  the  deposits  except  by  vaguely 
asserting  they  are  post-glacial.  May  Moss,  as  stated  in  the 
introduction,  was  known  as  such  in  the  reign  of  Henry  I., 
which  makes  it  at  least  seven  hundred  years  old. 

Although  we  do  not  yet  know  the  exact  age  of  the  great 
peat  beds  of  the  high  moors,  and  so  cannot  say  how  long 
they  have  taken  to  form,  the  question  arises  as  to  whether  the 
process  of  peat  accumulation  goes  on  indefinitely.  If  the 
rainfall  continues  as  high  on  the  watershed  as  it  is  now,  and  if 
Sphagnum  continues  to  flourish  as  at  present,  there  would 
appear  to  be  no  limit  to  the  thickness  which  the  raw  humus 
may  attain,  and  yet  it  apparently  remains  constant.  The 
same  question  arises,  too,  with  regard  to  the  humus  of 
both  the  fat  and  the  thin  moors,  which  year  after  year 
also  remains  more  or  less  constant.  This  is  due  to  the 
rate  of  erosion  to  which  all  deposits,  whether  organic  or 
inorganic  are  subjected  by  the  action  of  the  atmosphere. 

97  G 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

If  solid  rocks  can  be  carved  into  picturesque  hills  and  valleys 
in  the  course  of  ages,  softer  organic  deposits  such  as  peat 
must  be  even  more  easily  destroyed  by  atmospheric  agencies. 
Water  carrying  humic  acids,  either  percolates  through  the 
Mosses  or  filters  in  from  the  surrounding  slopes,  and  ul- 
timately reaches  the  soil  or  rock  below  the  peat.  Although 
it  is  stated  that  the  lower  layers  of  a  peat  bog  are  im- 
pervious, nevertheless,  if  we  examine  a  section  such  as  is 
furnished  by  the  small  stream,  Bluewath  Gill,  of  the  peat 
resting  on  the  soil,  we  shall  find  that  water  is  continually 
trickling  from  between  the  humus  and  the  soil.  This  clearly 
points  to  some  amount  of  water  circulation  at  the  junction 
of  the  two,  and  if  the  floor  is  sloping,  the  water  drains  away 
to  the  borders  of  the  Moss,  and  a  small  amount  of  under- 
ground erosion,  partly  chemical  and  partly  mechanical, 
must  take  place.  Repeated  year  after  year,  the  erosion 
thus  set  up  will  remove  an  appreciable  amount  of  peaty 
matter.  Owing  to  the  physical  structure  of  Sphagnum 
being  still  retained  in  the  peat  after  the  death  of  the  plants, 
the  Mosses  become  large  reservoirs,  and  usually  have  small 
streams  draining  out  of  them.  These  rivulets  bear  away 
in  flood  times  large  quantities  of  peaty  detritus  derived  both 
from  the  surface  and  the  bottom  of  the  Mosses.  Bluewath 
Beck  shows  this  distinctly  where  the  stream  has  cut  deep 
into  the  moor.  Here  huge  blocks  of  peat  have  fallen  into 
the  stream  ;  there  the  waters  have  excavated  great  hollows 
in  the  banks  which  are  overhung  by  ledges  of  peat  held 
together  by  the  roots  of  plants.  In  other  places  the  Ling 
bordering  the  stream  is  covered  with  mud,  sand,  and  peat 
deposited  by  the  last  flood.  Where  Eller  Beck  issues  out  of 
May  Moss,  it  forms  a  waterfall  four  or  five  feet  high  over  a 
ledge  of  peat  which  is  slowly  being  eroded  back.  This 
effluent  drainage,  however,  does  not  exceed  the  supply  or 
•otherwise  the  Mosses  would  disappear,  and  as  they  are  al- 
ways wet,  it  is  clear  that  the  outflow  does  not  exceed  the 
rainfall ;  though   even  if  this  were  the   case,    the    water- 



The  Mosses 

retaining  powers  of  the  peat  may  prevent  its  becoming 
absolutely  dry  unless  a  less  humid  climate  were  to 

Erosion  must  cause  a  Moss  continually  to  diminish  in 
mass,  and  though  it  would  perhaps  not  be  strictly  correct 
to  say  that  it  is  continually  sinking  to  its  bed,  yet  this  is 
not  at  all  unlikely,  if  the  underground  erosion  is  perpetual. 
The  probability  is  that  the  plants  on  the  surface  compensate 
for  this  loss,  and  so  maintain  the  peat  at  a  comparatively 
constant  thickness,  if  not  causing  its  increase.  Erosion, 
however,  is  not  so  active  upon  the  Cleveland  peat  moors  as 
in  other  parts  of  the  country,  and  it  is  rarely  that  the  surface 
is  excavated  into  "  hags,"  or  detached  masses  of  peat.  On 
the  Pennines  this  process  of  peat  destruction  is  active 
in  some  places,  and  leads  to  the  replacement  of  Cotton  Grass 
by  Bilberry,  which,  in  its  turn,  is  often  replaced  by  Mat 
Grass  and  the  Wavy  Hair  Grass,  but,  so  far  as  I  am  aware, 
this  has  never  occurred  on  the  Eastern  Moorlands.* 

It  should  also  be  remembered  that  the  ericetal  plants 
utilise  substances  in  the  peat,  and  this  must  entail  a  further 
slight  loss,  a  process  in  operation  all  over  the  moors,  but  to 
a  partial  extent,  the  material  thus  absorbed  is  returned  to 
the  humus  when  the    plants    die.      On    the    fat    and  thin 
moors,  burning  and  turf  graving  have  seriously  interfered 
with  the  normal  growth  of  raw  humus,  and  on  all  the  action 
of  running  water  must  remove  a  large  quantity  of  plant 
remains,  as  may  be  witnessed  on    bare  spaces  after  heavy 
rains,  when  fragments  of  steins,  leaves,  sand  grains,  and 
detached  pieces  of  humus  are  washed    down    slopes    and 
form  little  parallel  waves  of  debris  undulating  along  the 
hill    sides.       In   hot   and    dry    summers,    such   as   that   of 
1 91 1,  the  humus  becomes  very  dry  and  crumbly,  is  blown 
about    by   the    wind,    and    rises    in    small  clouds.      This 
process,   also,   when  repeated,  even   at   long   and  irregular 
intervals,    causes  a  decrease    in    the    amount    of    humus 
*  "  Types  of  British  Vegetation,"  p.  281. 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

which  has  to  be  replaced  by  a  further  accumulation  during 

more  favourable  periods. 

Here  our  account  of  the  Mosses  must  close,  though  we 

have  not  been  able  to  treat  of  them  fully.      Much  more 

research  is  needed  before  their  history  can  be  fully  written, 

but   what    has   been    ascertained    enables  us    to    form    a 

conception  of  their  origin.     We  may  sum  up  the  different 

kinds  in  the  following  table  : — 

Sphagnum  bog  or  Sphagnetum.     Rare  on  the  eastern  moors. 
Rush  and  Sphagnum  bog,  or  Juncetum.     Yarlsey  Moss. 
Tetralix  moor.     May  Moss. 

Cotton  Grass  moors,  or  Eriophoveta  vaginati.     Rosedale  Head. 
Cotton  Grass  and  Heather  moor.     Harwood  Dale  Moss,  Pike  Hill 
Moss,  Arden  Great  Moor — almost  universal  on  the  watershed. 
Tufted  Club  Rush  and  Mat  Grass  moor  on  deep  peat,  or  Scirpe- 

tum.    Kildale  Carr. 
Sweet  Gale,  Cotton  Grass,  and  Grass  moor  on  deep  peat.      Gale 

Field,  Goathland. 

The  Mosses  are  perhaps  the  most  interesting  of  all  moors, 
both  botanically  and  physically.  Their  existence  primarily 
depends  upon  a  poor  siliceous  soil  more  or  less  impervious, 
a  copious  rainfall,  and  those  wonderful  flowerless  plants, 
the  Sphagnaceae  or  peat  mosses.  To  realise  the  great  in- 
fluence heavy  rains  exert  upon  the  high  moors,  they  should 
be  visited  in  winter.  Places  so  pleasant  and  green  in  summer 
become  impassable  swamps  ;  grassy  sheep  walks  are  con- 
verted into  shallow,  spongy  bogs  ;  and  sandy  roads  and  cart 
tracks  have  streams  of  water  flowing  in  the  wheel  ruts. 
Throughout  the  winter  this  state  of  affairs  prevails,  and 
even  as  late  as  the  end  of  April  in  1908,  the  moors  were 
covered  with  thin,  slushy  snow,  re-saturating  the  already 
saturated  vegetation.  But  for  these  climatic  conditions, 
the  Moss  and  the  Heather  moor  would  cease  to  be,  for  as  the 
reader  must  have  clearly  seen,  an  abundant  supply  of 
moisture  is  essential  to  their  existence  ;  it  is  this  which  gives 
rise  to  the  great  peat  beds,  and  therefore,  to  this  all 
important  factor  some  of  the  most  impressive  aspects  of 
plant  life  are  due. 



HITHERTO  the  nature  of  moors  on  comparatively 
flat  elevated  land  has  alone  been  considered, 
but  owing  to  the  manner  in  which  the  massif 
of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  is  broken  by  the 
great  dales  and  their  small  gills,  steep  slopes  form 
a  characteristic  feature  in  the  topography  of  the  district. 
They  are  clothed  with  types  of  vegetation  which  diverge 
considerably  from  those  we  have  just  described,  and  yet 
we  meet  with  connecting  links  on  every  hand,  and  transitions 
to  other  plant  associations  which  show  conclusively  that  the 
slopes  were  formerly  the  site  of  woods  and  forests. 

Except  on  the  bold  escarpments  of  the  Cleveland,  Hamble- 
ton  and  Tabular  Hills,  the  slopes  always  form  the  sides  of 
the  great  dales  and  their  tributaries,  often  rising  to  a  height 
of  three  hundred  or  four  hundred  feet  from  the  bottom  of  the 
valleys.  They  vary  much  in  altitude,  steepness,  contour 
and  direction,  all  of  which  exert  an  influence  on  the  vegeta- 
tion, and  upon  the  amount  of  cultivated  land  they  bear. 
In  some  dales,  the  "  sides  "  are  reclaimed  almost  to  the 
moor  edge  ;  in  others,  fields  extend  about  half-way  up  ; 
whilst  in  the  gills  or  head  waters  of  the  dales  which  rise 
high  on  the  moorlands,  the  vegetation  is  practically  un- 
disturbed, and  in  its  natural  state.  Moreover,  the  con- 
ditions of  plant  life  are  complicated  by  the  outcrop  of 
beds  of  shale,  sandstone  and  limestone,  which  run  along 
the  slopes,  one  stratum  above  another,  and  which  produce 
different  kinds  of  soil  on  weathering.  Again,  runnels  of 
water  from  springs  and  the  downwash  of  rain  cause  con- 
siderable erosion  even  on  gentle  inclinations,  and  the  accu- 
mulation of  fine  detritus  at  lower  levels  forms  a  more  varied 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

soil  than  that  of  the  higher  moors.  Thick  peat  rarely 
accumulates  except  in  hollows  caused  by  springs,  and  in 
many  localities  the  vegetable  humus  is  extremely  thin. 

Consequently,  regarded  as  a  whole,  the  conditions  of 
plant  life  on  the  slopes  are  favourable  to  a  more  varied  and 
luxuriant  vegetation  than  that  of  the  peaty  moors,  a  vegeta- 
tion which  ranges  from  heather-clad  land,  through  inter- 
mediate types,  to  woods  of  Oak  and  Birch.  Genuine  peat 
plants  do  not  always  find  suitable  stations  on  the  steeper 
sides,  and  are  therefore  somewhat  rare  or  disappear 
altogether.  Everywhere,  however,  a  struggle  is  taking 
place  between  the  moorland  plants  properly  so-called,  and  the 
slope  plants,  usually  to  the  disadvantage  of  the  former. 

As  mentioned  in  the  chapter  on  the  thin  moors,  the 
grassy  type  sometimes  occurs  on  gentle  and  even  on  steep 
slopes,  but  the  characteristic  species  is  undoubtedly  the 
Bracken  (Pteris  aquilina),  one  of  the  few  ferns  which  com- 
petes in  a  successful  manner  with  flowering  plants,  at  any 
rate  in  England.  It  is  the  plant  of  the  slopes  ;  in  the  larger 
valleys  frequently  extending  unbrokenly  for  miles,  and 
undoubtedly  forming,  after  the  Heather,  the  most  salient 
plant  association  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire.  All  the 
botanical  aspects  of  the  moors  are  impressive,  but  perhaps 
these  forests  of  Bracken  are  more  so  than  any  other.  They 
suggest,  and  are  possibly  survivals  of,  that  far  distant  time 
when  ferns  and  flowerless  plants  generally  were  dominant 
over  the  whole  earth. 

The  fern  rarely  flourishes  on  the  peatier  moors,  though 
where  this  does  happen,  it  usually  becomes  stunted.  Several 
reasons  may  be  assigned  for  its  absence  from  such  moors. 
First,  pan  prevents  its  strong  and  deeply  penetrating  roots 
from  reaching  the  rock  soil ;  second,  the  wind  is  too  power- 
ful ;  and  third,  it  is  not  strictly  speaking,  a  true  moorland 
species,  but  a  plant  which  is  especially  characteristic  of 
open  woods  of  Oak,  Birch  or  Pine  on  sandy  soils.  Where 
peat  or  raw  humus  is  of  some  thickness,  the  Bracken  is 


Moorland  Slopes 

rarely  or  never  observed.  Hence  it  attains  its  most  luxu- 
riant development  on  the  sheltered  and  frequently  sandy 
slopes  of  the  hills,  gills  and  dales. 

In  some  cases  where  very  closely  grown  and  somewhat 
rank,  scarcely  any  other  plants  are  associated  with  it  : 
a  few  grasses,  a  little  Bilberry  and  Hair  Moss,  alone  main- 
tain a  precarious  existence  beneath  its  too  protecting  shade. 
A  more  open  growth  enables  the  Brown  Bent  ( Agrostis 
canina)  and  the  Sheep's  Fescue  Grass  (Festuca  ovina)  to 
form  a  green  sward  beneath  the  fronds,  and  Gorse  bushes 
are  not  uncommon.  As  the  Bracken  does  not  fully  expand 
its  fronds  until  late  June,  the  grasses  can  vegetate,  but 
later  on  they  are  completely  shaded  by  the  thick  foliage  of 
the  fronds.* 

A  most  frequent  type  of  slope  vegetation  is  that  in  which 
Ling  and  Bracken  are  almost  equally  abundant ;  that  is  to 
say,  bosses  of  Ling  are  irregularly  interspersed  amongst  the 
ferns.  Other  species  are  characteristic  of  this  association, 
moorland  grasses  for  instance,  and  more  particularly  the 
Bilberry  or  its  ally,  the  Cowberry  (Vaccinium  vitis-idcea), 
an  association  well-developed  on  the  northern  side  of 
Baysdale  (the  left-hand  slope  in  Fig.  52).  Here  the  latter 
species  occupies  a  most  prominent  role  in  the  vegetation, 
and  nowhere  else  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  have  I  seen  this 
beautiful  moorland  plant  so  abundant  as  in  the  lower 
reaches  of  this  dale.  With  its  slightly  inrolled,  glaucous 
leaves,  white  flowers  and  scarlet  berries,  it  plays  the  same 
part  on  this  slope  that  the  Bilberry  does  on  others.  The 
Cowberry  is  of  sporadic  occurrence  on  most  moorland  sides 
where  the  soil  is  somewhat  peaty,  and  it  rarely  becomes 

In  Fig.  51,  which  represents  the  uppermost  reaches  of 
Winter  Gill,  a  branch  of  Glaisdale,  a  further  peculiarity 
of  slope  vegetation  is  clearly  shown.     Here  we  find  that 

*  "  Types  of  British  Vegetation,"  p.  143. 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

the  Bracken  and  Heather  are  not  mixed,  but  occur  in  definite 
strips  and  patches,  light-coloured  in  the  former,  dark  in  the 
latter.  Everywhere  a  keen  struggle  for  supremacy  takes 
place  between  the  two  species  on  the  slopes,  and  where  they 
adjoin  the  lines  are  often  of  almost  geometrical  regularity. 
This  is  not  wholly  natural,  being  partially  due  to  burning 
which,  on  slopes,  has  in  many  localities,  the  effect  of  en- 
couraging the  fern  at  the  expense  of  the  Heather.  The 
deeply-striking  roots  and  quicker  growth  of  the  Bracken 
enable  it  to  spread  on  to  the  swiddens  before  Ling  has  really 
a  chance  to  appear  ;  and  we  may  often  observe  recently- 
burnt  areas  in  June,  with  the  delicate  green  shoots  un- 
folding above  the  blackened  ashes  and  stems  of  the  former 
vegetation.  As  the  firing  is  usually  restricted  to  fairly 
regular  and  definite  areas,  the  resulting  masses  of  fern  are 
of  similar  patterns.  In  the  view  of  Ewe  Crag  Slack  (Fig.  23), 
the  illuminated  slope  is  seen  to  be  quite  bare  and  stony, 
the  result  of  burning  in  the  spring  of  1909.  Two  years 
afterwards,  this  slope  was  thickly  overgrown  with  Bracken  ; 
and  it  is  not  improbable  that  in  some  localities,  many  heather 
clad  slopes  with  a  little  Bracken  here  and  there  have  been 
converted  into  rank  forests  of  fern  by  burning.  Near 
Castleton,  a  swidden  on  the  slope  of  Baysdale  was  observed, 
on  which  the  principal  species  were  the  Purple  Moor  Grass 
(Molinia  ccerulea)  and  the  Tufted  Club  Rush  (Scirpus  ccespi- 
tosa),  a  most  unusual  type  of  vegetation  to  appear  on  a  burnt 
moor  especially  when  surrounded  by  Bracken  and  Heather- 
In  all  likelihood,  the  plants  were  on  the  spot  before  the 
place  was  fired,  and  the  somewhat  damp  situation  has  given 
them  an  opportunity  to  spread  (see  Fig.  20). 

On  the  northern  slope  of  Eskdale,  between  Commondale 
and  Danby  End,  the  Ling  dispersed  amidst  the  Bracken 
is  almost  wholly  of  the  form  known  as  incana,  a  downy  or 
pubescent  variety  whose  grey  clusters  have  a  mildewed 
appearance  in  striking  contrast  to  the  usual  tints  of  the 
plant.     The   reasons    for    this    remarkable    dominance   of 


Moorland  Slopes 

downy  Ling  are  not  at  all  clear.  The  slope  does  not  appear 
to  differ  from  others  to  any  marked  extent,  except  perhaps 
in  its  somewhat  sandier  soil.  It  is  to  be  noted,  however, 
that  this  side  of  Eskdale  is  the  only  considerable  slope  which 
faces  south  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  and  consequently 
is  much  exposed  to  the  sun.  Hairy  or  downy  coverings 
on  leaves  are  often  safeguards  against  excessive  loss  of  water 
by  transpiration,  a  function  which  we  saw  in  Chapter  II. 
is  largely  regulated  by  the  inrolled  leaf  of  the  Heather.  In 
this  case  it  seems  not  unlikely  that  extra  protection  is 
required  owing  to  the  drier  soil  and  the  full  exposure  to 
the  sun's  rays,  which  would  otherwise  cause  an  injurious 
loss  of   water. 

Traced  upstream  in  shallow  valleys,  the  Bracken  becomes 
rarer  and  rarer  on  the  slopes,  and  is  ultimately  confined  to 
small  patches  close  to  the  streams.  This  decrease  in  abun- 
dance is  no  doubt  largely  due  to  an  increase  in  the  thickness 
of  the  raw-humus  which  can  form  to  some  depth  on  slight 
inclinations.  More  interesting,  however,  is  the  appearance 
of  trees  and  shrubs  in  the  vegetation  of  most  of  the  normal 
Bracken  slopes.  Thus,  on  the  northern  side  of  Lonsdale, 
Bracken  and  Ling  are  dominant,  but  here  and  there  solitary 
Hawthorn  trees  occur  ;  and  in  the  view  of  Baysdale  (Fig.  52), 
trees  can  be  seen  on  the  slopes,  the  principal  species  being 
Mountain  Ash,  Juniper,  Hawthorns,  Oak  and  Scots  Pine. 
It  is  in  this  delightful  valley  that  the  Juniper  is  perhaps  more 
numerous  than  elsewhere  in  the  district  ;  in  the  lower  parts 
it  is  usually  met  with  near  the  stream,  but  higher  up  the 
dale  on  the  western  side,  there  is  quite  a  scrub  of  these 
plants.  Fig.  27  represents  a  group  of  Juniper  and  Hollies 
(the  central  trees)  growing  near  the  stream  with  bracken- 
clad  slopes  behind. 

In  many  places  a  fairly  thick  scrub  is  developed,  well 
shown  in  Newton  Dale  in  Fig.  1,  where  the  right-hand  slope 
is  studded  with  shrubby  forms  of  Birch,  Oak,  Rowan,  and 
Hawthorn,  the  first  two  species  being  most  numerous  and 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

characteristic.     In    other    localities    Bracken    flourishes  in 
woods  ;  under  the  shade  of  the  Birch  as  at  Commondale  ; 
under  Pines  and  Larches,  as  on  the  Eston  Hills  ;   and  under 
Oak  and  Birch  as  in  numerous  wooded  gills  to  be  hereafter 
described  (see  Chapter  VI.) .     These  facts  all  tend  to  show 
that  wherever  the  ferns  occur  on  the  hillsides,  they  mark 
the  site  of  former  woods  or  forests,  a  stage  in  the  botanical 
history  of  the  moors  which  we  shall  discuss  at  the  end  of  the 
next  chapter.     It  will  suffice  here  to  remark  that  in  many 
parts  of  England,   especially  in  lowland  Oak  woods,  the 
Bracken  is  quite  a  dominant  plant  of  the  undergrowth,  and 
I  have  seen  such  woods  on  the  sandy  soils  of  Warwickshire. 
That  the  Bracken  grows  best  on  slopes  in  this  district 
is  proved  by  its  distribution  on  the    escarpment    of    the 
Tabular  Hills,  especially  at  their  western  end  and  in  Newton 
Dale.     The  eastern  slope  of  the  great  hill  of  Black  Hamble- 
ton   (Fig.  46),  is  partly  overgrown  with  a  thick  scrub  of 
dwarf  Birch  and  Oak.     But  a  more  interesting  fact,  and  one 
showing  how  the  fern  is  more  dependent  on  topography 
than  on  altitude,  is  shown  where  the  regular  slope  of  the 
escarpment  is  interrupted  by  a  projecting  ledge  or  plateau, 
caused  by  the  outcrop  of  a  hard  stratum,  the  Kellaways 
Rock.     Very  little  fern  flourishes  upon  this  flat,  though  it 
exists  in  full  vigour  on  the  slopes  above  and  below.     On 
the  ledge  Ling  regains  its  sway.     This  double  Bracken  slope, 
as  we  may  term  it,  extends  for  some  distance  eastwards 
along  the  escarpment  until  the  Kellaways  Rock  ceases  to 
form  a  ledge  or  scarp.     In  Newton  Dale  between  Levisham 
Station  and  Saltersgate,  the  same  rock  forms  a  wider  plateau 
at  the  foot  of  the  escarpment,  and  on  the  very  brink  of  the 
great  valley  itself.     The  steep  slope  rising  from  the  railway 
to  the  edge  of  the  plateau  and  the  plateau  itself  are  shown 
in  Fig.  31,  and  in  the  frontispiece  ;  the  slope  is  clothed  with 
Bracken  and  an  Oak  and  Birch  scrub,  whereas  the  plateau 
is  chiefly  covered  with  Heath  Rush,  grasses  and  occasional 
spreads  of   Heather,  above  which  ascends  the  bracken-clad 


Moorland  Slopes 

escarpment  of  the  Tabular  Hills.  Of  course,  the  fern  does 
grow  on  the  ledge,  but  it  is  subordinate,  nor  is  this  compara- 
tive rarity  due  to  the  flatness,  for  Bracken  as  we  have  just 
stated  exists  abundantly  on  levels  in  lowland  Oak  woods. 
To  what,  then,  is  this  peculiar  distribution  due  ?  Probably 
to  the  circumstance  that  on  the  plateau  the  raw  humus  is 
too  deep  and  too  acid,  for  the  range  of  Bracken  on  the  Eastern 
Moorlands  clearly  indicates  the  likes  and  dislikes  of  the 
plant.  It  prefers  slopes  of  all  elevations  ;  it  prefers  sandy 
and  siliceous  soils  ;  it  grows  well  under  the  trees  of  fairly 
open  Oak,  Birch  and  Pine  woods  ;  it  avoids  damp  and  wet 
situations,  and  is  never  seen  on  Sphagnum,  Cotton  Grass  or 
J  uncus  swamps  ;  it  cannot  tolerate  too  much  acid  peat  ;  and 
it  does  not  pass  far  into  the  pure  Heather  moors. 

The  double  Bracken  slope  of  the  Tabular  Hills  naturally 
leads  us  to  a  consideration  of  the  zonal  arrangement  of 
plants  according  to  the  elevation  or  according  to  the  charac- 
ter of  the  underlying  rock  soil.  The  altitude  of  the  Eastern 
Moorlands  does  not  appreciably  influence  the  species  we 
are  here  considering  ;  the  principal  factor  in  determin- 
ing plant  zones  on  the  slopes  are  the  soils,  not  only  those 
derived  from  the  different  strata,  but  also  those  formed  at 
the  foot  by  downwash.  So  many  conflicting  combinations 
of  soil  occur  that  it  is  only  here  and  there  that  we  have 
distinct  lines  of  vegetation  running  along  the  hill-sides. 
The  most  striking  instance  occurs  on  Dalby  Warren,  and 
was  first  pointed  out  by  the  late  Mr.  Fox-Strangways.* 
In  many  ways  Dalby  Warren  is  a  remarkable  moor,  and 
merits  more  attention  than  I  have  so  far  been  able  to  devote 
to  it.  A  glance  at  the  moorland  map  shows  that  the  warren, 
lying  east  of  Pickering,  is  the  greatest  spread  of  heath  vege- 
tation south  of  the  general  boundary  of  the  moors,  and  it 
occurs  on  the  summit  of  the  Tabular  Hills.  The  warren  is 
deeply  divided  by  no  fewer  than  six  small  branch  valleys 

*  "  Jurassic  Rocks  of  Yorkshire,"  p.  482. 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

falling  into  Thornton  Dale,  and  it  is  along  the  slopes  of  these 
tributary  dales  that  the  phenomenon  referred  to  is  dis- 
played. Here  a  thin  band  of  limestone  is  intercalated  be- 
tween two  sandstones,  one  of  which  forms  the  floor  and  lower 
slopes  of  the  branch  dales,  and  the  other  of  which  forms  the 
upper  slopes  and  summits  of  the  ridges  separating  one  valley 
from  another.  "  The  calcareous  soil  of  the  limestone," 
says  Mr.  Fox-Strangways,  "  is  covered  by  grass  or  Bracken, 
while  the  arenaceous  soil  of  the  latter  is  always  clothed  with 
Heather.  The  junction  between  the  two  is  so  sharp,  and 
the  contrast  of  colour  between  the  green  herbage  and  the 
brown  moorland  so  striking,  that  the  divisions  of  the  strata 
which  run  in  parallel  bands  along  the  hillsides,  can  be 
followed  by  the  eye  at  some  distance."  In  Sand  Dale,  the 
northward-facing  slope  has  a  central  band  of  Bracken  with 
Ling  above  and  below,  and  similar  features  are  shown  in 
Heck  Dale. 

The  deep  branch  valleys  of  Ryedale  rising  in  Arden  Great 
Moor  resemble  those  on  Dalby  Warren  ;  here  there  is  a 
decided  tendency  for  Heather  to  cling  to  the  outcrop  of  the 
Lower  Calcareous  Grit  which  forms  the  central  stratum  on 
the  slopes,  with  Bracken  dominant  above  and  below.  Else- 
where on  the  Tabular  Hills  where  the  same  grit  runs  along 
the  valley  sides,  strips  of  heath  vegetation  may  be  observed, 
such  as  those  indicated  on  the  map,  south  of  the  village  of 

A  fairly  well-marked  zonal  arrangement  of  plants  may  be 
observed  on  the  slopes  of  the  Cleveland  Hills,  and  in  some  of 
the  larger  dales.  Below  the  Heather  moor  of  the  summit 
level  comes  a  band  of  Bilberry,  followed  at  lower  levels  by 
a  broad  zone  of  Bracken  ;  whilst  the  lowest  slopes,  where 
unreclaimed,  are  usually  characterised  by  masses  of  Gorse 
with  grassy  interspaces.  Sometimes  a  belt  of  wet  land 
clothed  with  Rushes  occurs  below  the  Gorse  zone,  where  the 
slope  has  a  flat  expanse  at  its  foot.  Between  West  House, 
Kildale,  and  Commondale  village,  the  northern  side  of  the 


Moorland  Slopes 

valley  through  which  the  Whitby  railway  runs  is  covered 
with  a  broken  scrub  of  Oak,  Birch,  Rowan  and  Thorn, 
passing  below  into  a  well-defined  zone  of  Gorse  with  a  great 
spread  of  Rushes  on  a  flat  at  the  base.  Even  where  the 
slope  has  been  enclosed  and  cultivated,  Bracken,  Gorse  and 
Rushes  re-appear  in  the  pastures,  stragglers  emerging  at 
corresponding  levels. 

There  is  a  marked  preponderance  of  Bilberry  on  the 
uppermost  parts  of  slopes  just  below  the  moor  edge,  and 
above  the  Bracken  zone.  In  fact,  the  Bilberry  is,  next  to 
the  fern,  one  of  the  most  characteristic  plants  of  the  dale 
sides,  flourishing  in  stony  situations  that  are  exposed  to  the 
weather.  In  May  and  early  June,  the  abundance  of  Bil- 
berry becomes  very  conspicuous,  for  the  brilliant  emerald 
green  of  the  new  foliage  colours  the  slopes  for  miles,  and 
it  stands  out  in  vivid  contrast  to  the  dead  brown  Bracken 
below,  and  the  dark  Heather  above,  as  may  be  seen  in 
Bilsdale,  Westerdale,  and  Danby  Dale.  On  the  steep  and 
rocky  escarpment  of  the  Cleveland  Hills  which  are  exposed 
to  cold  north  winds,  the  plant  is  very  numerous.  The 
northern  face  of  Kirby  Bank  has  a  quantity  near  the  summit, 
passing  down  into  Bracken  ;  on  the  same  face  of  the  great 
outlier  of  Cranimoor,  the  precipitous  summit  has  long 
strips  of  dark  Ling  spreading  like  feelers  into  the  lower  and 
greener  Bracken  and  Bilberry  zones.  The  western  side  of 
Cold  Moor  towards  the  south  is  also  thickly  clothed  with 

At  Danby  Crag,  which  forms  the  rocky  and  precipitous 
end  of  the  wedge  of  land  separating  the  two  Fryup  Dales, 
Bilberry  is  once  more  the  chief  species  on  the  almost  pre- 
cipitous slopes  near  the  summit,  and  as  illustrating  how 
varied  the  vegetation  of  such  a  locality  may  be,  it  is  in- 
structive to  note  some  of  the  plants  growing  amidst  the 
Bilberry.  Sheep's  Fescue  Grass  forms  the  turf  with  occasional 
specimens  of  the  Sweet  Scented  Vernal  Grass  (  Anthoxanthum 
odoratum).     The  Heather    is    very    small,    whilst    familiar 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

species,  certainly  not  ordinarily  found  on  moors,  are  the 
Anemone,  Primrose,  Wood  Sage,  Wood  Sorrel  and  Dog  Violet. 
These  species  are  the  relics  of  wood  undergrowth  which 
formerly  extended  to  the  top  of  the  hill,  as  indeed  is  now 
the  case  on  most  parts  of  the  crag,  but  the  destruction  of 
the  trees  either  by  natural  or  by  artificial  means,  has  let 
in  the  hardier  moorland  plants  which  have  not  yet  been  able 
to  oust  the  purely  woodland  species.  The  chief  tree  in  the 
Danby  Crag  woods  is  the  Holly,  which  here  attains  a  larger 
size,  and  is  more  gregarious  than  in  any  other  part  of  the 
district.  The  Holly  is  not  rare  on  many  slopes,  and  in  the 
present  instance  appears  to  form  a  natural  wood.  Towards 
the  summit  of  the  ridge  Birch  becomes,  as  usual,  a  charac- 
teristic feature. 

One  further  example  of  the  preponderance  of  Bilberry 
towards  the  moor  edge  and  above  the  main  Bracken  area 
may  be  noticed.  The  westerly  slope  of  Westerdale,  beyond 
the  Baysdale  Road,  is  chiefly  clothed  with  this  species, 
broken  by  patches  of  Ling  ;  Bracken  is  not  abundant,  but 
becomes  more  so  towards  the  drystone  wall  separating  the 
cultivated  from  the  uncultivated  land  lower  down  the  slope. 
Fescue  Grass  forms  a  luxuriant  undergrowth,  and  the  Hard 
Fern  (Blechnum  spicant)  is  not  infrequent. 

In  a  few  localities  Bilberry  dominates  the  whole  slope, 
and  then  we  have  a  Bilberry  moor  developed.  The  western 
side  of  Little  Fryup  Dale  furnishes  one  of  the  best  instances  ; 
and  so  well-known  to  the  dales'  people  is  this  moor,  that 
"  bilberrying  "  on  an  extensive  scale  takes  place  in  August. 
The  plant  dominates  the  slope  from  the  dale  road  to  the 
highest  point  of  Danby  Ridge,  forming  a  short  shrubby 
turf,  cushioned  with  masses  of  Reindeer  Lichens  and  mosses 
(chiefly  Dicranum  scoparium).  Heather,  in  long  strips, 
is  abundant  towards  the  summit,  and  also  a  little  way  down 
the  slope  where  it  becomes  mixed  with  the  Bilberry.  Bracken 
occurs  frequently  throughout  the  association  ;  Crowberry 
is  not  uncommon  ;    whilst  other  characteristic  species  are 


Moorland  Slopes 

the  somewhat  rare  Chickweed  Winter  Green  (Trientalis 
europaza,  also  found  on  the  most  elevated  peat  moors), 
the  pretty  white  star-flowered  Heath  Bedstraw  (Galium 
saxatile),  the  Cow-wheat  (Melampyrum  pratense  var.  mon- 
tanutn),  and  the  usual  moor  grasses. 

This  slope  faces  east,  and  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  the 
position  has  some  share  in  determining  the  nature  of  the 
vegetation,  as  the  Bilberry  can  bear  exposure  to  the  most 
bitter  winds,  a  fact  illustrated  by  its  abundance  on  the  high 
ridge  of  Cock  Heads,  referred  to  in  the  chapter  on  the  Mosses, 
and  on  slopes  facing  north.  Two  remarkable  illustrations 
of  the  dominance  of  Bilberry  on  northern  slopes  are  known 
to  me.  The  first  is  in  the  valley  of  Eller  Beck.  Where  this 
small  stream  issues  out  of  May  Moss,  it  flows  through  a 
narrow  channel  with  sides  clothed  principally  with  Bracken  ; 
but  on  the  northward-facing  side  of  a  smaller  tributary 
stream,  Bilberry  replaces  the  fern,  and  where  the  two  streams 
join,  the  two  plants  mingle  on  the  angle  of  the  slope.  The 
second  illustration  occurs  on  Black  Hambleton,  for  there  is 
very  little  Bracken  on  the  northern  slope  of  this  hill,  Bilberry 
and  Heather  being  the  chief  plants,  but  the  fern  becomes 
more  abundant  on  the  western  side. 

From  these  facts  it  naturally  follows  that  in  valleys 
running  east  and  west  there  will  be  differences  in  the  plant 
life  of  their  slopes,  those  facing  north  should  be  dominated 
by  Bilberry,  those  facing  south  should  exhibit  a  greater 
preponderance  of  Bracken  ;  and  this  is  the  case,  though 
other  factors  often  obscure  the  differences.  They  are 
fairly  well-displayed  in  Stockdale  which  falls  eastwards 
into  Westerdale,  a  moorland  gill  which  possesses  the  pecu- 
liarity of  having  an  angular  slope  on  both  sides  of  the 
stream.  This  feature  is  also  shown  in  our  view  of  Grain 
Beck  (Fig.  53),  where  we  observe  a  steep  bank  rising  from 
the  stream  which  has  cut  a  deep  ravine,  and  above  the 
edges  of  which  are  more  extensive  and  gentler  inclinations. 
In    Stockdale,    the    northward-facing    side,    in    its    steeper 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

ascent,  is  gouged  into  slight  hollows  in  which  flourish  luxu- 
riant beds  of  Bog  Moss  and  Rushes.  Springs  have  excavated 
these  hollows  in  the  rocks,  and  the  ridges  between  them 
are  covered  with  Bracken  broken  by  patches  and  strips  of 
Heather.  When  traversing  such  a  slope  the  investigator 
is  often  delighted  with  glimpses  of  these  mossy  depressions 
with  their  tall  Rushes,  cool  green  tones,  and  occasional  ex- 
quisite little  Junipers  or  Rowans  growing  in  their  shelter. 
Above  this  slope  on  the  same  side  of  Stockdale  is  a 
stretch  of  flatter  ground  where  Ling  comes  in,  and  although 
the  ascent  is  afterwards  much  steeper,  it  is  all  clothed  with 
the  same  plant  except  for  some  large  patches  of  Bracken. 
Higher  up  the  valley  Bilberry  replaces  the  Bracken,  but 
even  here  Heather  is  the  chief  species. 

The  slope  facing  south  differs  from  the  preceding  in  having 
much  less  Bilberry,  Bracken  being  more  numerous  and 
reaching  to  the  highest  point  above  the  valley.  Juncus 
swamps  exist  on  this  side,  but  are  not  so  frequent  as  on  the 
opposite  slope. 

We  must  not  omit  to  mention  the  effects  of  impervious 
strata  on  the  vegetation.  The  outcrop  of  the  Kellaways 
Rock  shows  this  very  clearly,  for  at  its  base  it  is,  in  some 
localities,  as  at  Eller  Beck,  quite  shaley  ;  and  this  shale 
throws  out  in  the  form  of  springs,  water  which  has  perco- 
lated through  the  pervious  sandy  beds  above,  thus  origina- 
ting wet  lower  slopes  clothed  with  Sphagnum  bogs  and  beds 
of  Rushes  which  run  along  the  valley  sides.  In  North  Cleve- 
land, where  the  Cornbrash,  the  stratum  below  the  Kellaways 
Rock,  consists  of  shale,  its  outcrop  on  the  moors  can  be 
readily  traced  by  the  line  of  green  bog  vegetation  running 
along  the  slopes. 

Rushes  and  Bog  Moss  are  the  chief  peat  plants  of  the  hill 
sides  ;  but,  in  some  places,  where  slips  have  taken  place 
and  ledges  been  formed,  other  species  will  appear,  as  shown 
in  the  photograph  of  the  Cotton  Grass  in  Fig.  19,  which  repre- 
sents a  peat-filled  ledge  on  the  western  side  of  Danby  Dale, 


Moorland  Slopes 

near  the  solitary  cottage  called  St.  Helena.  Extensive 
slips  of  rock  stretch  along  the  dale  slope  for  a  mile  or  more, 
and  on  the  undercliff  thus  formed,  water  has  collected  and 
peat  has  accumulated  with  a  corresponding  vegetation. 

Our  account  of  slopes  must  close  as  the  preceding  chapters 
have  done,  with  a  table  of  the  different  plant  associations 
which  clothe  them  : — 

Pure  Bracken  slope. 
Bracken,  Grasses,  and  Gorse. 
Bracken  and  Ling. 

Bracken,  Ling,  Bilberry  and  Cowberry. 
Bracken  with  scrub  of  Oak,  Birch  and  Rowan. 
Birch  woods  with  Bracken  or  Bilberry  nndergrowth. 
Oak-birch  woods  with  Bracken  or  Bilberry  undergrowth. 
Larch  and  Scots  Pine  woods  with  Bracken  or  Bilberry  under- 
Bilberry  slope. 

Junceta  or  Rush  bogs  with  Sphagnum. 
Cotton  Grass  and  Heather,  occasionally  on  peat  ledges. 

Sometimes,  it  may  be  added,  the  woodland  undergrowth 
is  largely  occupied  by  Heather,  as  in  Sloethorn  Park  at  the 
eastern  end  of  Baysdale,  but  the  variations  in  the  propor- 
tions of  the  different  species  are  so  intricate  as  almost  to 
defy    exact    classification.      Though    we    may    regret    this 
from  the  point  of  view  of  accurate  description,  it  is  other- 
wise when  we  regard  it  as  furnishing  important  keys  to  the 
development  of  types  of  vegetation.     The  most  conspicuous 
facts  which  this  chapter  has  disclosed  are  that  Heather  is  of 
minor  importance  on  most  slopes,  Bracken  being  the  prin- 
cipal species  with  the  Bilberry  as  a  secondary  dominant  ; 
and    the    almost    universal    occurrence    of    solitary    trees, 
scrub  and  woods,  proves  that  all  or  nearly  all  the  slopes 
were  once  fully  clothed  with  trees.     Naturally  a  discussion 
of  the  former  forests  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands  might  here 
follow  ;    but  before  we  enter  upon  this,  it  will  be  well  to 
study  some  further  aspects  of  the  vegetation  of  the  moors 
which  throw   more  light  on  this  interesting  but  obscure 

113  H 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

problem.  We  shall,  therefore,  in  the  next  chapter,  review 
all  the  evidence  concerning  the  origin  of  moors  from  woods 
and  forests.  It  suffices  here  to  note  that  in  this  chapter 
we  have  examined  associations  that  are  a  long  way  removed 
from  the  kinds  of  moors  with  which  we  began  the  study  of 
the  plant  life,  and  yet,  as  we  have  repeatedly  seen  and  em- 
phasised, insensible  transitions  unite  all  extremes. 











IN  the  four  preceding  chapters,  we  have  surveyed 
practically  all  the  plant  associations  which  comprise 
the  different  kinds  of  moorland.  The  instances  given 
have  been  obtained  from  all  parts  of  the  district  ; 
but  it  is  quite  possible  to  study  many  of  the  types 
within  a  limited  area,  where,  owing  to  the  physical  features, 
most  of  them  have  been  developed.  Such  a  remarkable 
congestion  of  plant  associations  we  find  in  small  valleys, 
locally  termed  "  slacks,"  which,  on  the  North  Cleveland 
moors,  in  the  Vale  of  Goathland,  and  on  the  eastern  margin 
between  Robin  Hood's  Bay  and  Harwood  Dale,  form  a 
very  striking  feature  of  the  moorland  scenery.  The  general 
appearance  of  these  valleys  is  shown  in  Figs.  22,  23,  28,  29, 
30,  32,  and  64,  and  it  will  be  observed  that  they  all  possess 
broad,  flat,  streamless  floors  and  steep  slopes.  Geologically 
the  slacks  are  of  unique  interest,  being  the  old  overflow 
channels  of  glacier-lakes  during  the  Ice  Age,  and  we  shall 
further  discuss  them  in  the  next  chapter.  For  the  present 
we  shall  confine  our  attention  to  their  plant  life,  at  the  same 
time  passing  in  review  the  types  of  vegetation  we  have  so 
far  dealt  with. 

We  propose  to  describe  in  some  detail  the  vegetation  of 
Ewe  Crag  Slack,  a  great  winding  ravine,  over  a  mile  in  length, 
which  crosses  the  North  Cleveland  watershed  due  north 
of  the  village  of  Danby  End,  and  which  falls  into  Eskdale 
(Figs.  22  and  23).  Where  it  traverses  the  watershed,  as 
shown  in  Fig.  22,  it  is  about  twenty-five  feet  deep,  but  in  its 
lower  reaches  it  is  from  fifty  to  seventy-five  feet  deep,  whilst 
the  breadth  of  the  flat  floor  rarely  exceeds  150  yards.  In 
this  slack  we  meet  with  an  epitome  of  the  whole  vegetation 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

of  the  moors,  pure  Heather  moors,  Bracken  slopes,  Sphagnum 
bogs,  Juncus  swamps,  Cotton  Grass  bogs,  and  Tetralix  moors. 
To  enable  the  reader  to  follow  our  account  of  the  vegetation 
we  have  prepared  a  small  diagram  (Fig.  24)  indicating  the 
position  and  distribution  of  the  various  plant  associations. 

And  first  it  should  be  observed  that  the  absence  of  a 
definite  stream  in  the  valley  has  given  rise  to  special  soil 
conditions.  The  slight  fall  of  the  slack  and  the  accumula- 
tion of  water  on  its  floor  have  led  to  the  formation  of  a  vast 
bed  of  peat,  extending  throughout  its  length.  Professor 
Kendall  made  a  series  of  borings  in  this  peat,  and  from  them 
we  learn  that  at  the  head  it  attains  a  thickness  of  21^  feet, 
diminishing  to  8|  feet  and  less  near  the  outlet  into  Esk- 

In  the  lower  reaches  where  a  small  stream  oozes  from  the 
peat,  the  latter  is  covered  with  sand  and  sandy  clay,  and  as 
a  consequence,  the  floor  is  there  clothed  with  little  else  than 
Bracken  which  forms  the  chief  species  of  the  slopes  for  some 
distance  up  the  slack.  Gradually,  however,  it  becomes 
thinner,  and  tends  to  occur  in  patches  towards  the  valley 
head,  where  the  slopes  are  less  pronounced  and  covered 
with  peaty  Heather  moors.  At  the  lower  end,  a  few  Hollies 
and  Thorns  alone  remain  of  the  wood  which  formerly  filled 
a  large  part  of  the  slack,  whilst  amongst  the  Bracken  grow 
a  variety  of  plants,  Hard  Fern,  Ling,  Bilberry,  Cowberry,, 
grasses  and  other  species. 

Restricting  our  attention  to  the  floor  as  we  proceed  up- 
stream, we  find  that  the  Bracken  becomes  less  abundant, 
being  here  broken  by  large  masses  of  Heather,  and  there 
ousted  by  Juncus  swamps  or  Junceta.  The  fern  disappears 
from  the  bottom  of  the  valley  at  the  point  indicated  on  the 
diagram,  above  which  it  is  confined  to  the  slopes.  From 
here  to  the  head  of  the  slack  an  impassable  bog  entirely 
covers   the   floor.     First,  we   have   a  very   wet    Juncetum 

*  Kendall,  "  System  of  Glacier  Lakes  in  Cleveland  Hills,"  Q.J.G.S.. 
1902,  p.  519. 












Slacks  and  Gills 

■composed  of  the  Common  Rush  {J uncus  conglomeratus)  and 
.also  beds  of  Sphagnum  recurvum,  which  latter,  in  places, 

Fig.  24. — Diagram  Showing  the  Distribution  of  Plan  rs 
in  Ewe  Crag  Slack. 
J  =  Juncus;  E  =  Cotton  Grass  ;  T  =  Pink  Bell  Heath; 
B=Bracken;    H= Heather;    S=Sphagnum. 

forms  pure  Sphagneta,  though  of  course  on  a  very  small 
scale.     Next  comes  a  patch  of  bog  that  is  slightly  drier, 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

and  that  is  dotted  with  characteristic  clumps  of  Heather 
followed  by  another  area  on  which  Cotton  Grass  (E.  vagina- 
turn)  becomes  numerous.  This  species  prevails  more  or 
less  to  the  head  of  the  slack,  and  an  examination  of  the 
diagram  shows  that  in  one  spot  it  flourishes  with  Sphagnum, 
in  another  it  is  practically  pure,  and  then  again  becomes 
interspersed  with  Ling.  On  the  last  area  marked  E.  and  H. 
in  the  diagram,  pools  of  peaty  water  present  a  characteristic 
appearance.  Surrounded  by  Heather,  they  contain  a  quan- 
tity of  floating  Bog  Moss  and  tufts  of  Cotton  Grass  (E. 
angustifolium),  whereas  on  the  site  of  absorbed  pools  are 
Bog  Moss,  the  other  species  of  Cotton  Grass,  and  Ling.  A 
great  bog  of  J  uncus  and  Sphagnum  occupies  the  head  of 
the  slack  where  the  Commondale-Whitby  road  crosses  it. 

Beyond  the  middle  of  the  valley  to  its  head,  it  is  most 
interesting  to  notice  how  Rushes  fringe  the  border  of  the 
peat  bog,  clinging  to  the  foot  of  either  slope.  We  might 
almost  imagine  the  two  great  Juncus  swamps,  the  one  at 
the  head  and  the  other  at  the  centre  of  the  slack,  as  sending 
out  delicate  tentacles  of  Rushes  along  either  slope  to  keep 
in  touch  with  one  another,  and  as  endeavouring  to  en- 
compass the  Heather  and  Cotton  Grass  bog,  but  that  the 
feelers  are  occasionally  interrupted,  especially  at  the  base  of 
the  western  slope  where  we  find  two  small  but  typical 
Tetralix  moors  (T  in  the  diagram).  One  has  much  Cotton 
Grass  (E.vaginatum)  fraternising  with  the  dominant  Pink 
Bell  Heath  (Erica  tetralix),  and  is  quite  destitute  of  Heather, 
though  this  plant  occurs  somewhat  plentifully  in  clumps 
on  the  adjacent  bog.  These  two  patches  of  Pink  Bell  Heath 
are  sharply  marked  off  from  the  surrounding  vegetation, 
and  occur  on  swiddens,  to  the  burning  of  which  they  evident- 
ly owe  their  origin. 

Variations  in  the  amount  of  surface  water  account  for 
the  greater  or  less  abundance  of  the  Heather  amongst  the 
Cotton  Grass  on  the  peaty  areas  ;  but  I  think  the  presence 
of  Juncus  is  largely  due  to  the  quantity  of  dissolved  mineral 


Slacks  and  Gills 

matter,  though  the  water  may  at  the  same  time  be  peaty. 
The  circumstance  that  the  principal  areas  of  Rush  prevail 
where  the  drainage  is  more  active,  where  the  water  of  the 
slack  drains  away  in  narrow  streams  both  north  and  south, 
and  where  the  aeration  and  amount  of  mineral  matter  may 
therefore  be  greater,  suggests  this  conclusion. 

On  the  whole  the  vegetation  of  this  remarkable  valley 
is  essentially  bog  vegetation,  for  only  in  its  lower  reaches 
do  we  meet  with  dry  Bracken  and  Heather  moors  on 
the  floor ;  and  what  is  typical  of  Ewe  Crag  Slack  is  typical 
of  nearly  all  slacks  of  this  character.  Cotton  Grass  moors 
(Eriophoreta  vaginati)  prevail,  and  reproduce  at  much 
lower  levels  and  on  a  smaller  scale  the  Mosses  of  the  central 
watershed,  proving  conclusively  that  altitude  has  no  direct 
influence  in  determining  their  origin,  bad  drainage  and  the 
accumulation  of  peat  being  the  chief  factors.  Thus  the 
great  valley  of  Moss  Swang  between  Egton  and  Goathland 
is  only  625  feet  above  sea  level,  yet  its  wide  floor  is  covered 
with  a  great  peat  bed  on  which  flourish  masses  of  Heather 
and  Cotton  Grass  (Fig.  28).  There  is  no  free  natural  drainage. 
In  the  same  figure  we  notice  the  bracken-clad  slopes  with 
an  incipient  scrub  of  Oak,  Birch,  Thorn  and  Rowan. 

The  great  canon  of  Newton  Dale,  at  its  head,  is  the 
most  remarkable  of  all  the  slacks.  Here,  the  valley  bears 
the  suggestive  name  of  Fen  Bogs,  a  huge  badly-drained 
morass,  2|  miles  long  and  not  less  than  200  yards  wide. 
The  peat  is  very  thick— at  Fen  Bog  Houses  i6£  feet  ; 
further  south  it  is  said  to  be  sixty  feet,  the  depth  to 
which  piles  were  driven  during  the  construction  of  the 
railway.*  The  upper  part  of  Fen  Bogs  supports  a  Heather, 
Cotton  Grass  and  Gale  association  with  great  spreads  of 
Molinia,  bordering  the  railway  ;  but  lower  down  a  distinct 
type  sets  in,  including  huge  Reed  beds  (Phragtnites 
communis),     Reed    Mace     (Typha    latifolia),    and     many 

*  Op.  cit.,  p.  503. 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

species  of  Sedge  (Carex),  especially  those  characteristic 
of  "  fens "  and  Reed  swamps.  In  fact,  Fen  Bogs  is 
unique  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  for  it  is  the  only 
locality  within  the  moorlands  that  supports  any  consider- 
able "  fen  "  and  Reed  vegetation.  The  probability  is  that 
we  have  at  Fen  Bogs  a  local  example  of  the  transition  of 
peat  moors  into  "  fen  "  vegetation,  a  stage  that  may  have 
characterised  all  the  slacks  at  an  earlier  period.  But  of 
this  we  cannot  be  certain  until  the  plant  distribution  of 
this  remarkable  locality  has  been  more  thoroughly  investi- 

In  other  slacks,  the  type  of  vegetation  that  dominates 
the  floors  is  the  J  uncus  swamp  with  its  tall  Rushes  {J  uncus 
conglomeratus  and  effusus,  principally),  and  great  under- 
growths  of  Bog  Moss.  This  is  well  shown  in  the  view  of 
Hardale  Slack  on  Roxby  High  Moor,  in  which  the  light- 
coloured  Rushes  on  the  floor  stand  out  in  distinct  contrast 
to  the  darker  Heather  and  Bracken  slopes  (Fig.  32).  On 
Girrick  and  Easington  Moors,  the  same  plants  extend  for 
a  mile  or  two  in  a  shallow  valley  with  heather-clad  land 
on  all  sides.  The  Rushes  thickly  cover  the  flat  floor,  now 
and  then  interrupted  by  patches  of  Cotton  Grass  and  small 
Carex  bogs.  Between  the  Heather  moor  and  the  Rush  bog 
there  is  usually  a  drier  area  clothed  with  Mat  Grass  and 
Heath  Rush  {J uncus  squarrosus),  the  latter  species  almost 
invariably  occurring  in  less  moist  situations  than  its  con- 
geners, whilst  the  former  species  often  spreads  over  drier 
parts  of  the  slack  to  the  exclusion  of  the  tall  Rushes. 

Other  Junceta  are  characterised  by  a  more  open  growth 
of  the  plants  ;  Bog  Moss  is  common,  over  which  creep  the 
reddish  trailing  stems  of  the  Crowberry,  further  species  of 
this  association  being  the  Marsh  Pennywort  (Hydrocotyla 
■palustris),  Mat  Grass,  Brown  Bent,  Ling,  Pink  Bell  Heath, 
and  Tormentil. 

The  head  of  Rudland  Slack,  between  Farndale  and  Brans- 
dale,  is  occupied  by  a  fine  Juncetum  ;    and  as  the  road 

















Slacks  and  Gills 

between  the  two  dales  passes  through  it,  we  are  enabled 
to  observe  the  bog  in  all  its  details.  Above  the  road  gutter 
rises  thick  peat  with  great  cushions  of  green  Sphagnum 
on  its  surface,  from  which  spring  the  tall  Rushes  thickly 
clustered  together.  The  section  is  dripping  wet,  and  water 
all  shades  of  brown  and  often  iridescent  with  the  humic 
acids  it  contains  trickles  down  into  the  gutter. 

Sleddale  Bog,  near  Highcliff,  on  the  edge  of  Guisborough 
Moor,  is  another  vast  Juncus  swamp  ;  but  it  is  needless  to 
describe  further  instances  of  a  type  of  vegetation  which  is 
almost  universal  on  the  moors  in  suitable  situations. 

Slacks  similar  to  Ewe  Crag,  Moss  Swang,  and  Hardale, 
are  numerous  on  the  moor  edge  behind  Robin  Hood's  Bay, 
the  chief  of  them  being  the  great  ravine  of  Jugger  Howe 
Dale  which  runs  from  near  the  Flask  Inn  to  Harwood  Dale 
(Fig.  64).  They  also  present  similar  botanic  features,  with 
this  noteworthy  difference,  however — Sweet  Gale  grows  in 
profusion  on  their  swampy  floors,  especially  near  the  small 
streams  which  many  of  the  valleys  contain,  owing  to  their 
larger  size.  Thus,  Biller  Howe  Dale,  forming  the  upper 
reaches  of  the  Jugger  Howe  Valley,  has  in  its  highest  parts 
no  Gale  amongst  the  Ling  and  Cotton  Grass  ;  but  further 
southwards,  where  a  small  stream  flows  down  the  centre  of 
the  ravine,  the  plant  is  quite  abundant.  In  Fig.  64,  in  the  left 
background,  is  the  hill  of  Brown  Rigg,  an  isolated  mass  of 
land  bounded  by  Jugger  Howe  Dale  on  the  right,  and  by  a 
large  semicircular  shallow  slack  on  the  left,  a  slack  which 
is  at  an  elevation  of  seventy  feet  above  the  floor  of  Jugger 
Howe.  In  this  loop  valley,  Heather  and  Cotton  Grass  are 
dominant,  but  there  is  no  Gale,  though  the  plant  is  not  rare 
in  other  slacks  in  the  same  neighbourhood.  And  here  we 
may  remark  on  the  singular  distribution  of  this  character- 
istic bog  plant  in  the  moorland  area.  As  observed  above, 
it  usually  occurs  in  slacks  and  shallow  valleys  which  possess 
small  streams,  but  this  is  only  in  the  south-eastern  part  of 
the  moorlands.     It  is  found  throughout  Jugger  Howe  Dale, 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

as  far  as  Harwood  Dale,  being  frequently  met  with  in  branch 
valleys,  such  as  Bloody  Beck.  It  also  extends  down  Newton 
Dale,  from  Fen  Bogs  nearly  to  Pickering  ;  it  flourishes  in 
the  lower  reaches  of  Brocka  Beck  and  Eller  Beck,  near  Goath- 
land,  where  it  is  also  found  on  the  Gale  Field.  It  character- 
ises every  branch  of  Wheeldale,  except  perhaps  Wheeldale 
Gill,  whilst  it  is  found  in  boggy  localities  at  the  foot  of  the 
Tabular  Hills  as  far  eastwards  at  least  as  Lowna  at  the  lower 
end  of  Farndale.  It  does  not  appear  to  occur  elsewhere  on 
the  moors,  for  I  have  not  observed  this  plant  on  the  North 
Cleveland  or  the  central  watershed  or  on  the  western  moors, 
although  there  are  innumerable  habitats  suited  to  its  growth. 
Especially  is  this  absence  to  be  noted  in  the  northern  slacks, 
since  many  of  these  resemble  in  almost  every  physical  and 
geological  detail  those  in  the  vicinity  of  Robin  Hood's  Bay 
where  the  Gale  is  so  abundant.  So  far  as  present  observa- 
tions reveal,  if  we  draw  a  line  from  the  lower  end  of  Farn- 
dale (where  this  valley  breaks  through  the  Tabular  Hills) 
across  Spaunton  Moor  to  Black  Rigg  on  Wheeldale  Moor, 
thence  to  Goathland  and  to  Brocka  Beck  on  Widow  Howe 
Moor,  and  from  the  latter  locality  to  the  head  of  Iburndale 
and  Jugger  Howe  Dale,  we  shall  have  indicated  the  limits 
of  its  distribution  by  a  boundary  north-west  of  which  it  has 
not  yet  been  observed.  I  have  used  the  words,  so  far  as 
present  observations  reveal,  advisedly,  for  it  may  exist  in 
small  patches  elsewhere,  so  that  the  line  drawn  must  be 
regarded  as  merely  approximate.  Why  the  plant  should 
be  so  distributed  cannot  at  present  be  determined,  since 
every  attempted  explanation  is  contradicted  by  opposed 
facts.  It  cannot  be  due  to  differences  of  habitat  since  these 
seem  to  be  the  same  in  the  east  as  in  the  west,  in  the  north 
as  in  the  south  ;  it  cannot  be  altitude,  for  it  grows  at  an 
elevation  of  1800  feet  in  Scotland  ;  it  cannot  be  climate, 
for  a  similar  reason  ;  and  if  it  be  urged  that  this  part  of  the 
Eastern  Moorlands  is  more  congenial  than  the  north  and 
west,  we  find  that  the  plant  is  somewhat  rare  in  the  south 


Slacks  and  Gills 

and  east  of  England.  The  problem  is  one  that  can  only  be 
solved  by  a  careful  study  of  its  ecology  and  distribution 
throughout  the  British  Isles. 

A  typical  haunt  of  the  Sweet  Gale  is  Tranmire  Slack,  due 
north  of  Lastingham,  where  it  is  abundant,  occurring  in 
damp  places  amongst  the  Heather.  In  one  place  a  Sphagnum 
bog,  with  a  little  Juncus,  had  clumps  of  Sweet  Gale  growing 
upon  it,  together  with  a  few  plants  of  the  Pink  Bell  Heath, 
and  the  Gale  was  quite  abundant  round  the  edges  of  the  bog. 

Tranmire  Slack  presents  many  interesting  features  of 
moorland  plant  life  not  observable  in  the  northern  parts 
of  the  district.  Looking  at  the  valley  from  an  adjacent 
height,  the  first  impression  we  obtain  of  the  vegetation  is 
the  superlative  dominance  of  Calluna  from  the  highest  to 
the  lowest  slopes.  The  Bracken  manages  to  exist  on  the 
immediate  sides  of  the  streams,  and  occasionally  sends  out 
long  tongues  into  the  Heather.  Lighter  patches  indicate 
the  presence  of  Tetralix  swiddens,  whilst  darker  green 
blotches  mark  the  presence  of  Sweet  Gale  in  wetter  spaces. 
A  feature  of  this  locality  is  the  great  abundance  of  the 
Moor  Sallow  (Salix  repens)  amongst  the  Ling. 

Without  exception  the  remains  of  trees,  principally  Birch, 
more  rarely  Oak,  are  always  met  with  when  the  peat  of  the 
slacks  is  cut  (Fig.  29).  From  this  circumstance  we  must 
conclude  that  at  no  very  distant  period  all  these  valleys 
were  more  or  less  clothed  with  Birch  and  Oak  wood  very 
much  resembling  types  presently  to  be  described.  The 
largest  deposit  of  slack  peat,  as  already  mentioned,  occurs 
at  Fen  Bogs  where  Birch  trees  have  been  excavated  ;  and, 
in  fact,  they  still  grow  in  places  on  the  bog.  Oak  trunks 
have  been  found  in  Randay  Mere  (Fig.  30),  and  also  in 
Roxby  Peat  Holes  (Fig.  32),  according  to  the  Geological 
Survey  ;  but  wherever  sections  can  be  seen,  the  white 
Birch  bark  is  always  in  evidence  in  almost  every  peat-filled 
hollow.  In  Cowgate  Slack,  near  the  Falcon  Inn,  Birch  scrub 
still  flourishes  in  abundance  ;   and  we  may  form  a  good  idea 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

of  the  appearance  of  many  of  the  slacks  when  they  were 
filled  with  trees,  by  an  examination  of  those  wooded  gills 
which,  at  the  dale  heads,  run  far  into  the  heart  of  the  high 
moors.  They  also  afford  us  instances  of  the  last  types  of 
vegetation  which  we  shall  describe  in  these  pages  ;  ericetal 
plants  form  a  luxuriant  verdure  beneath  the  trees  ;  and 
there  can  be  no  question  that  they  are  of  extreme  importance 
in  furnishing  evidence  wherewith  to  explain  the  botanical 
changes  which  the  moors  have  undergone. 

Before  describing  the  wooded  gills,  attention  must  be 
directed  to  two  woods  of  particular  interest  ;  one  on  the 
Eston  Hills  at  their  eastern  end,  and  the  other  in  Rosedale. 
In  the  first  Birch  is  dominant  though  somewhat  dwarfed 
owing  to  the  elevation,  650-700  feet,  and  to  the  exposed 
situation  (Fig.  25).  It  flourishes  on  both  damp  and  dry 
ground,  and  partially  surrounds  a  shallow  pond  filled  with 
the  Common  Rush  (J  uncus  conglomeratus),  with  an  occasional 
cushion  of  Bog  Moss  growing  round  the  base  of  the  plants. 
Under  the  trees  shown  in  the  illustration  there  is  little  vege- 
tation except  thin  grassy  spaces  of  Sheep's  Fescue  Grass  and 
Wavy  Hair  Grass,  and  in  the  dampest  parts  there  are  not 
even  these  species.  In  more  open  parts,  the  two  grasses 
with  occasional  Flying  Bent  (Molinia  ccerulea)  and  Common 
Rush  occur,  whilst  towards  the  northern  edge  of  the  wood, 
Crowberry  is  very  conspicuous,  forming  a  carpet  beneath 
the  trees,  spreading  over  old  stumps,  and  even  growing  up 
and  around  the  Birch  trunks.  Over  an  old  stump  this  species 
and  the  Purple  Bell  Heath  were  struggling  for  mastery,  and 
one  plant  of  the  former  measured  no  less  than  ten  feet  by 
eight ! 

On  the  eastern  side  of  Rosedale,  not  far  from  Cropton, 
another  type  of  wet  Birch  wood  occurs,  which,  however,  I 
have  not  been  able  to  study  very  closely.  It  differs  from 
the  preceding  in  the  almost  entire  absence  of  Crowberry 
and  in  the  presence  of  an  abundant  undergrowth  of  Sweet 
Gale,  Flying  Bent,  the  Pink  Bell  Heath,  and  other  species. 


Slacks  and  Gills 

Our  last  type  of  moorland  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 
is  by  no  means  the  least  important.  Characterised  by  an 
abundance  of  Oak  trees,  with  an  undergrowth  of  ericetal 
plants,  it  generally  nourishes  on  stream  slopes  or  in  narrow 
gills  branching  from  the  dales  and  penetrating  far  into  the 
moorland.  A  fine  example  is  that  singular  off-shoot  of 
Baysdale,  Great  Hograh,  lying  about  four  miles  west  of 
Castleton  (Fig.  26).  Here  we  have  a  narrow  valley  with  a 
small  but  active  stream  falling  into  the  main  dale  from  the 
south,  the  whole  of  the  ravine  being  well-wooded.  The 
chief  tree  is  the  Oak,  next  comes  the  Birch,  and  there  are 
a  few  Mountain  Ashes,  and  one  Scots  Pine.  These  trees 
do  not  pass  out  of  the  ravine  on  to  the  level  moors  on  either 
side,  though  occasionally  seedlings  will  be  found  at  some 
little  distance  from  the  edges.  Towards  the  summit  of  the 
slopes  the  Oaks  become  stunted  and  spread  out  their  branches 
in  curious  zigzag  forms.  The  highest  trees  do  not  grow 
above  the  level  of  the  top  of  the  gorge  as  they  cannot  stand 
exposure  to  the  wind. 

The  most  striking  feature  of  the  undergrowth  is  the  abun- 
dance of  Bilberry  which  attains  a  vigorous  development 
and  frequently  a  height  of  four  feet.  The  richer  soil  of 
the  slopes,  the  shelter  of  the  trees,  and  the  good  drainage, 
may  account  for  the  luxuriant  growth  of  this  plant  ;  since, 
at  the  summit,  beyond  the  trees,  though  still  abundant, 
it  is  much  smaller.  Here,  however,  its  congener,  the  Cow- 
berry, is  well  dispersed  amongst  it,  together  with  Bracken. 
In  late  August  the  ground  is  often  scarlet  with  the  bright 
berries  of  this  interesting  plant. 

Further  eastwards,  another  small  valley,  Little  Hograh, 
falls  into  Baysdale.  Botanically  resembling  Great  Hograh, 
it  differs  from  it  in  being  more  open  and  less  wooded.  Birch 
is  the  dominant  tree  in  Little  Hograh,  though  Oaks  are 
numerous.  The  Cowberry  is  plentiful,  growing  on  the  open 
slopes  and  beneath  the  trees  ;  and  Bracken,  as  a  rule,  caps 
the  valley  walls,  with  fat  moors  beyond. 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

These  two  valleys  may  be  taken  as  typical  of  the  vege- 
tation which  we  are  describing  ;  the  Birch  or  Oak  is  the 
principal  tree,  and  the  Mountain  Ash  is  not  rare.  Such 
woods  are  closely  related  to  those  mentioned  in  the  last 
chapter,  and  in  fact  they  all  constitute  part  of  that  ancient 
natural  woodland  which  flourished  like  a  green  border 
round  the  edges  of  the  dark  moors.  The  wooded  gills  creep 
into  the  heather-clad  areas,  and  constitute  some  of  the  most 
picturesque  aspects  of  moorland  scenery. 

Why  have  the  woods  which  formerly  grew  in  the  slacks 
disappeared,  and  how  is  it  that  such  gills  as  Great  Hograh 
still  retain  their  trees  ?  Here,  at  any  rate,  there  can  be  no 
interference  from  man,  except  to  a  very  slight  extent ; 
and  it  becomes  obvious  that  the  slack  woods,  the  remains 
of  which  are  found  in  the  peat,  must  have  been  destroyed 
by  natural  causes.  As  we  shall  see  in  the  ensuing  chapter, 
many  of  the  slacks  were  formed  during  the  Ice  Age,  and 
consequently  all  the  changes  in  their  plant  life  must  have 
taken  place  in  post-glacial  times.  Geological  investigation 
in  various  parts  of  Great  Britain  have  led  geologists  to  infer 
that  important  fluctuations  of  climate  have  prevailed  since 
the  Ice  Age.  If  this  has  been  the  case  it  must  have  pro- 
foundly affected  the  character  of  the  moorland  plant  com- 
munities. According  to  Professor  James  Geikie,  the  follow- 
ing stages  represent  the  climatic  changes  that  have  taken 
place  throughout  Europe  since  the  close  of  the  Ice  Age.* 

Lower  Forestian,  or  4th  interglacial  epoch.  Corresponds 
to  the  lower  forests  under  peat  bogs. 

Lower  Turbarian,  or  5th  glacial  epoch.  Corresponds 
to  the  peat  deposits  covering  the  lower  forests. 

Upper  Forestian,  or  5th  interglacial  epoch.  Corres- 
ponds to  the  buried  forests  indicative  of  temperate 
and  dry  climates. 

Upper  Turbarian,  or  6th  glacial  epoch.     Corresponds 

*  "  Great  Ice  Age,  and  Pre-historic  Europe." 


Slacks  and  Gills 

to  the  deposits  of  peat  underneath  the  lower  raised 
beaches,  and  over  the  last-named  forests. 
More  recently,  Mr.  F.  J.  Lewis,  in  a  series  of  papers  in  the 
"Transactions  of  the  Royal  Society  of  Edinburgh,"  has 
given  a  detailed  account  of  the  succession  of  plants  in 
the  Scottish  peat,  and  according  to  him,  the  succession  is 
as  follows  : — 

Recent  Peat. 
Upper  Forestian. 
Upper  Peat  Bog. 
Second  Arctic  Bed. 
Lower  Peat  Bog. 
Lower  Forestian. 
First  Arctic  Bed. 

As  interpreted  by  Professor  Geikie  and  Mr.  Lewis,  the 
climatic  changes  indicated  by  these  zones  are  as  follows. 
After  the  Ice  Age  a  warm  and  genial  climate  ensued,  leading 
to  the  development  of  extensive  forests  ;  a  recrudescence 
of  cold  and  wet  conditions  led  to  the  destruction  of  these 
forests  by  the  formation  of  peat  bogs  which,  on  a  further 
return  of  genial  climates,  bore  forests  on  their  surface. 
Finally,  the  present  atmospheric  conditions  began  to  pre- 
vail, but,  being  slightly  wetter  than  the  preceding,  caused 
the  development  of  peat  which  once  more  destroyed  the 


Until  the  peat  deposits  of  the  slacks  and  Mosses  of  North- 
Eastern  Yorkshire  have  been  carefully  investigated,  we 
cannot  say  whether  there  has  been  a  succession  of  forests 
and  peat  beds  as  in  the  case  of  Scotch  peat.  All  we  know 
at  present  is  that  the  peat  of  the  slacks  and  moorland  valleys 
contains  the  record  of  one  forestian  period,  and  the  question 
now  remaining  to  be  considered  is  how  these  woods  have 
been  destroyed,  and  their  sites  converted  into  peat  mosses 
and  Heather  moors. 

Whether  the  water-logged  nature  of  the   floors  of  the 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

slacks  at  the   beginning  was    caused    by  climatic  changes, 
or  was  simply  due  to  the  gradual  accumulation  of  swamp  and 
bog  at  their  heads — this  slowly  creeping  down  the  slack, 
and  so  engulfing  the  trees — we  have  not  yet  been  able  to 
ascertain.     But  when  we  remember  the  vegetation  of  the 
Hograh  ravine,  it  seems  not  unlikely  that  the  latter  process, 
quite  independently  of  climatic  changes,  has  been  laigely 
responsible  for  the  destruction   of   the  woods  in  the  slacks. 
For  if  the  climatic  changes  are  the  sole  cause,  if  the  transition 
from  a  warm  and  dry  Forestian  Epoch  to  a  colder  wet 
Turbarian  Epoch  produced  the  destruction  of  the  Oak  and 
Birch  woods,  why  have  these  not  disappeared  from  Hograh  ? 
The  reason   seems  to  be  this.     Great   Hograh  is  a  well- 
drained  valley — a  brisk  stream  flows  down  it.     Under  all 
changes  of  climate  this  circumstance  will  largely  prevent 
the  accumulation  of  peat  and  the  decay  of  the  trees.     But 
in    the   slacks — especially   those   with   broad    flat    floors — 
there  is  no  definite  stream  and  no  free  drainage  for  the  water 
of    their  slopes.      Hence  Mosses  would  form,   particularly 
at   their  heads  where   the   fall   is  slight,  and  these  would 
gradually  creep  down  the  valleys.     Meanwhile  trees  would 
settle  on  the  slopes,  and  in  their  lower  reaches,  and  may 
even  have  extended  to  the  heads  of  some  of  the  slacks.     The 
constant  growth  of  the  Moss  and  its  slow  movement  down- 
stream,  accentuated  by  whatever  climatic  variations  oc- 
curred, would  in  time  destroy  the  trees  on  the  floor,  and  only 
those  on  the  slopes  would  survive  where  we  still  find  them. 

The  head  of  Ewe  Crag  Slack,  as  will  be  seen  in  Fig.  22, 
is  shallow,  broad,  and  flat,  and  where  it  crosses  the  water- 
shed   the    bog    drains   both   northwards   and   southwards. 

The  main  bog  is  fairly  horizontal,  and  is  very  slightly, 
if  at  all  higher  in  the  centre  than  at  the  edges,  and  this  we 
may  expect  in  Mosses  where  lateral  escapes  for  the  water 
have  existed.  Lower  down  the  valley  it  falls  in  a  series  of 
slight  steps  five  in  number.  At  three  steps  down  the  slope 
a    stream    emerges    both    from    and    below    the    surface. 


Photo  by] 

Fig.  26. — Great  Hograh,  Baysdale. 

[Frank  Elgce. 

Fig    1- .     Juniper  and  Holl^    Trees,   Baysdale.      Frankl 

Slacks  and  Gills 

After  this  stage  the  stream  disappears  underground,  and 
is  choked  with  boulders  ;  still  lower,  not  only  is  the  peat 
drier,  but  it  has  been  much  eroded  in  flood  times.  These 
facts  go  to  prove  that  originally  the  bog  crept  downstream, 
and  that  surface  erosion  now  maintains  it  at  a  fairly  constant 
level.  Much  that  has  been  said  concerning  the  Mosses  of  the 
watershed  is  more  or  less  applicable  to  those  in  the  slacks, 
but  in  their  lower  parts  where  the  fall  is  steeper  and  the 
drainage  better,  the  peat  moss  has  been  converted  into 
Ling  and  Bracken  moors. 

If  climate  has  been  responsible  for  the  change  of  vegeta- 
tion, we  have  to  imagine  the  slacks  full  of  trees  only  during 
a  comparatively  dry  period.  Increased  rainfall  caused 
peat  to  develop,  and  to  assist  in  the  destruction  of  the 
woods  in  the  way  described.  Doubtless  both  processes 
combined  in  their  work  of  devastation,  but  until  further 
investigations  have  been  made,  we  can  only  surmise  the 
actual  course  of  events. 

With  the  vegetation  of  the  slacks  and  gills,  we  conclude 
our  account  of  the  plant  life  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands. 
From  what  has  been  said,  we  have  gained  a  sufficiently 
clear  idea  of  the  different  kinds  of  moor,  their  conditions 
of  life,  and  their  mode  of  development.  Many  areas  of 
heath  vegetation  have  originated  on  bare  sandy  soils, 
others  have  formed  in  water,  and  yet  others  occupy  the 
site  of  woods.  Here  it  will,  therefore,  be  well  to  bring 
together  the  facts  and  inferences  concerning  forests  on  the 
moors  in  post-glacial  times. 

That  all  the  slacks,  gills  and  dale  slopes  were  once  the 
site  of  woods  and  forests  is  incontestable.  The  presence 
of  occasional  trees,  scrub  and  woods  ;  the  prevalence  of 
Bracken  and  other  plants  of  the  Oak-birch  undergrowth  ; 
and  the  remains  of  trees  found  in  the  peat  all  point  to  this 
conclusion.  Even  comparatively  gentle  inclinations  were 
at  one  time  wooded,  as  is  testified  by  tree  stumps  in  peat 
to   the   north   of   Danby   Beacon,  at   an  altitude  of  about 

129  1 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

875  feet,  a  fact  which  indicates  that  much  of  the  northern 
slopes  of  Easington  High  Moor,  Roxby  Old  Moor,  and  Black 
Dyke  Moor  were  once  covered  with  trees  though  now  quite 
treeless.  The  Birch  and  Rowan  found  in  peat  at  the  head  of 
gills  prove  that  the  woods  which  are  now  in  most  cases  res- 
tricted to  the  lower  reaches  formerly  extended  almost  to  the 
sources  of  the  streams,  as  may  be  observed  at  an  elevation 
of  1275  feet  in  Blakey  Gill  at  Farndale  Head,  and  at  an 
elevation  of  about  1150  feet  at  Bluewath  (see  p.  83).  The 
manner  in  which  plantations  of  various  trees  flourish  on  the 
steep  escarpments  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  is  also  in- 
dicative of  the  former  condition  of  these  localities,  and 
their  ability  to  support  extensive  woods,  which,  in  pre- 
historic times,  also  filled  the  dales. 

To   what   cause   must   we   ascribe   the   disappearance   of 
most  of  the  natural  woodland  ?     To  a  very  effective  cause — 
man.     Where  tree  remains  are  found  in  peat,  these  have, 
of  course,  been  entombed  and  the  woods  destroyed  by  the 
growth  of  peat  bogs,  but  except  in  the  slacks  and  at  valley 
heads,  this  process  has  been  very  limited,  and  of  comparative 
insignificance  in  the  history  of  the  moors.     Nor  does  there 
appear  to  have  been  any  replacement  of  wood  by  moorland 
through  impoverishment   of   the   soil   due  to  the  action  of 
rain,  and  the  formation  of  pan  which  would  prevent  a  new 
growth  of  young  trees.     Climatic  changes  are  scarcely  likely 
to  have  operated  within  the  period  covered  by  this  stage 
in  the  history  of  the  moors  ;  hence  we  are  driven  to  the  con- 
clusion that  man  has   largely  been  responsible  for  the  de- 

It  is  still  within  the  memory  of  living  people  that  the 
slopes  of  the  dales  and  moors  were  more  thickly  wooded  than 
at  present,  and  the  late  Canon  Atkinson  relates  that  "  thirty 
years  ago  he  had  heard  an  old  man  say  '  Ah  heared  my 
au'd  uncle  offens  say  'at  he  kenned  t'tahm  when  a  cat- 
swirrel  could  gan  a't'way  down  fra  Commondale  End  to 
Beggar's  Bridge  wivoot  yance  tooching  t'grund.'  " 













Slacks  and  Gills 

But  the  remsval  of  trees  probably  goes  back  a  long  way. 
The  large  quantities  of  charcoal  that  would  be  required  in 
early  times,  either  Roman,  Scandinavian  or  mediaeval,  for 
the  manufacture  of  iron,  would  be  obtained  from  the  thick 
woods  and  forests  of  the  dales,  gills  and  slacks  ;  and,  apart 
from  cultivation,  may  have  been  largely  responsible  for 
their  ultimate  clearance.  Few  people  are  aware  of  the 
extensive  nature  of  the  old  iron  smelting  operations,  the 
relics  of  which  in  the  form  of  innumerable  accumulations  of 
slag,  known  as  cinder  hills,  occur  in  nearly  all  the  dales  ; 
and  without  paying  particular  attention  to  these  interesting 
evidences  of  a  past  industry,  I  have  noted  them  in  Ryedale, 
Bilsdale,  Greenhow,  Baysdale,  Danby  Dale,  Fryup  Dales, 
Glaisdale,  Goathland  Dale,  Farndale,  Rosedale,  and  else- 
where. Most  cinder  hills  occur  on  the  slopes  of  the  valleys, 
and  the  amount  of  wood  and  charcoal  needed  must  have 
been  very  large.  Combined  with  agricultural  clearing  and 
other  causes,  we  may  safely  attribute  the  disappearance  of 
most  of  the  woodland  of  the  slopes  to  this  cause. 

A  different  history  is  revealed  when  we  turn  to  the 
high  moors,  the  thin,  fat  and  moss  moors.  On  con- 
sidering their  superficial  deposits  as  a  whole,  it  must  be 
admitted  that  they  contain  no  evidence  of  ever  having  been 
covered  with  forests  or  even  woods.  Although  time  and 
atmospheric  influences  might  cause  innumerable  stumps, 
trunks,  and  other  parts  of  trees  to  decay  and  disappear— 
supposing  for  a  moment  that  woods  once  existed  on  the 
uplands— yet  to  imagine  that  absolutely  no  traces  have  been 
left  is  highly  improbable.  It  may  be  urged  that  as  the  peat 
at  Bluewath  and  near  Danby  Beacon  is  known  to  contain 
trees,  their  absence  from  most  other  moors  of  the  thin 
and  fat  types  must  be  partly  due  to  the  absence  of  a 
sufficient  depth  of  peat  in  which  they  could  be  preserved  ; 
and  whilst  this  is  perhaps  true  in  a  sense,  yet  when  we  re- 
member that  on  Arden  Great  Moor,  at  Stony  Ridge,  on 
Danby  Ridge,  at  Loose  Howe,  at  Cock  Heads,  at  Pike  Hill 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Moss,  and  even  in  the  centre  of  Harwood  Dale  Moss,  no 
remains  of  trees  have  been  found,  though  in  these  places 
the  peat  is  deep,  I  think,  there  can  be  little  doubt  that  the 
higher  wind-swept  moors  were  never  clothed  with  arboreal 
vegetation.  Of  course,  this  does  not  exclude  the  presence 
of  occasional  trees  or  scrub,  for  that  such  can  grow  on  the 
open  moors  has  before  been  pointed  out ;  and  as  a  further 
instance,  I  may  mention  the  picturesque  line  of  Rowans  by 
the  roadside  between  the  Chequers  Inn  and  Snilesworth 
Lodge.  Moreover,  our  conclusion  is  in  accordance  with 
that  reached  in  Chapter  I.,  where  we  found  that  the  course 
of  the  roads,  the  position  of  entrenchments,  and  the  absence 
of  villages  on  the  moors,  all  indicate  that  two  or  three  thou- 
sand years  ago  woodland  was  generally  absent. 

That  woods  formerly  grew  on  a  few  of  the  lower  flat 
Heather  moors  seems  certain.  For,  apart  from  plantations 
principally  of  Scots  Pine  and  Larch,  which  flourish  so  well 
in  most  places,  natural  wood  and  scrub  often  spring  up 
spontaneously  amongst  the  Ling.  Near  Three  Howes  on 
Harwood  Dale  Moor,  numerous  young  Birches  up  to  three 
feet  or  more  in  height,  occur  on  a  somewhat  wet  Heather 
moor  with  much  Purple  Moor  Grass  (Molinia  cczmlea).  It 
would  appear  that  these  trees  are  self-sown,  and  are  probably 
derived  from  Cowgate  Slack  previously  mentioned.  A 
factor  which  may  have  prevented  the  spread  of  this  tree  on 
the  eastern  margin  of  the  moors  is  the  sea-winds  which,, 
according  to  Mr.  J.  W.  Barry  of  Fyling  Hall,  restrict  its 
growth  to  within  a  mile  or  two  of  the  coast  wherever  fully 
exposed  to  the  north  or  north-east.* 

The  most  remarkable  feature  in  the  ancient  woods 
of  the  moors  was  the  great  rarity  or  total  absence  of  the 
Scots  Pine,  a  species  that  has  been  introduced  by  man. 
It  seeds  well  amongst  the  Heather  at  the  present  day,  and 
Mr.  Barry,  in  the  paper  quoted,  states  that  were  it  not  for 

*  "  Sylvan  Vegetation  of  Fylingdales,"   Naturalist,  1908. 


Slacks  and  Gills 

the  moor  sheep,  turf  paring  and  burning,  the  seed  blown 
from  plantations  of  this  tree  would  give  birth  to  natural 
woods.     Our  astonishment  is  not  lessened  when  we  learn 
that  the  Scots  Pine  was  formerly  indigenous  to  North-Eastern 
Yorkshire,  for  its  cones  have  been  discovered  in  the  buried 
peat  bed  and  forest  of  the  coast  at  Redcar,  a  deposit  which 
dates  back  to  the  Neolithic  Period  ;    and    yet,  with  the 
solitary  exception  of    the  tree  in    the  Harwood  Dale  peat 
holes,  shown  in  Fig.  14,  which  I  should  regard  as  an  old  plan- 
tation tree,  its  remains  have  so  far  not  been  observed  in  the 
peat  beds  of  the  moors.     If  the  remains  of  the  Scots  Pine 
really  do  occur  at  the  base  of  our  deepest  peat  that  has  yet 
to  be  examined,  we  may  expect  that  it  died  out  owing  to 
those  climatic  changes  which  led  to  its  extinction  over  most 
parts  of  England  since  Neolithic  times.    It  may  be  remarked 
that  in  Scotland,  the  Upper  Forestian  layer  though  usually 
characterised  by  the  Scots  Pine  is,  according  to  Mr.  F.  J. 
Lewis,  replaced  by  Birch  at   high  elevations  and  in  the 
extreme  north. 

The  conclusion  we  have  reached  in  this  section  of  the 
work  is  that  for  many  thousands  of  years,  probably  even 
since  the  Ice  Age  itself,  the  moors  were  islands  and  penin- 
sulas of  heath  vegetation,  surrounded  by  a  great  sea  of 
forest  and  woodland,  green  feelers  of  which  in  the  form  of 
woods  of  Birch,  Oak  and  Rowan,  penetrated  far  into  the 
heart  of  the  uplands  along  the  sides  of  the  bubbling  streams. 



IN  the  prosecution  of  our  chief  enquiry,  the  origin  of  the 
moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  we  have  in  the 
foregoing  chapters  traced  some  of  their  modes  of 
development,  on  the  bare  ground,  in  water,  and  from 
woods.  Given  the  requisite  conditions  of  soil  and 
climate,  the  special  plants  will  form  moors  in  the  various 
ways  described ;  and  we  may  rest  content  with  these 
explanations,  and  fondly  imagine  that  we  have  solved  the 
problem.  A  little  reflection  will  convince  us,  however,  that 
this  is  not  the  case,  for  the  questions  immediately  arise, 
whence  the  plants  which  grow  on  the  moors  ?  Did  they 
originate  in  the  district,  or  did  they  enter  it  from  elsewhere  ? 
and  if  so,  when  ?  The  moor  problem  cannot  be  regarded 
as  completely  solved  until  we  have  attempted  to  answer 
these  questions.  But  before  we  can  do  this,  it  will  be  neces- 
sary for  us  to  bring  geology  to  our  aid,  particularly  that 
part  of  the  science  which  treats  of  the  Ice  Age,  and  from 
which  we  shall  learn  how  important  the  geographical  con- 
ditions of  Black-a-more,  in  past  ages,  have  been  in  deter- 
mining the  existence  of  the  moors. 

We  have  already  referred  to  this  great  climatic  epoch 
incidentally.  Its  significance  in  the  evolution  of  the  moors 
cannot  be  under-estimated  ;  for,  quite  apart  from  its  effects 
upon  the  geology  and  scenery  of  the  district,  it  has  had  a 
most  profound  influence  upon  the  history  of  the  moorland 
plants  and  animals.  The  actual  features  caused  by  the 
Ice  Age  are  of  importance  in  having  originated  some  unique 
moorland  scenes,  and  of  yet  greater  importance  in  the  proofs 
they  furnish  of  the  former  presence  of  a  large  and  complex 
"  System  of  Glacier  Lakes  in  the  Cleveland  Hills." 


The  Ice  Age  on  the  Moors 


The  chief  peculiarity  of  the  moorland  region  from  the 
glacialists'  point  of  view  is  that  no  deposits  ascribable  to 
ice  action  exist  over  the  larger  part  of  the  area.  Almost 
everywhere  the  moorland  vegetation  flourishes  upon  soils 
derived  from  the  weathering  of  the  rocks  which  are  not 
overlain  by  boulder  clay  or  other  glacial  debris.  More- 
over, no  evidence  of  local  glaciation  has  been  detected  in  any 
of  the  great  dales.  The  heads  of  Rosedale,  Farndale,  and 
Bransdale  are  the  most  likely  localities  where  glaciers  could 
have  formed,  but  perhaps  owing  to  the  small  gathering 
grounds,  no  rivers  of  ice  ever  travelled  down  these  beautiful 
valleys.  Nevertheless,  it  must  not  be  overlooked  that  very 
small  ice-streams  may  have  existed  in  these  dales,  the  traces 
<9f  which  may  be  difficult  to  discern  because  their  moraines 
would  consist  of  local  debris,  which,  on  being  deposited  on 
the  hill  sides,  might  therefore  be  indistinguishable  from 
cliff  detritus.  In  the  eastern  head  of  Farndale  there  occurs 
a  series  of  remarkable  lenticular  mounds  at  practically 
the  same  level,  on  either  side  of  the  valley.  It  seems  quite 
possible  that  these  mounds  may  be  the  lateral  moraines  of  a 
small  glacier  ;  on  the  other  hand  they  may  have  accumulated 
during  the  Ice  Age  owing  to  the  rapid  melting  of  snow  on  the 
slopes,  or  they  may  be  due  to  landslips. 

But  if  the  high  moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 
were  unglaciated  far  otherwise  is  it  with  the  lowlands  of  the 
Vale  of  York,  the  plain  of  Cleveland,  and  a  narrow  tract 
bordering  the  coast  from  North  Cleveland  to  Scarborough. 
Over  these  areas,  the  strata  are  more  or  less  concealed 
by  a  deep  mantle  of  glacial  drift  composed  of  boulder  clay, 
sand,  and  gravel.  Wherever  the  drift  occurs,  the  ice-borne 
boulders  it  contains  indicate  the  presence  in  Cleveland  of  a 
glacier  from  the  west  which  brought  characteristic  rocks 
from  Teesdale  and  the  Lake  District,  the  most  important 
of  them  being  Shap  Granite.  This  glacier  swept  out  to  sea 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Tees,  but,  owing  to  the  southward 
movement  of  a  great  ice-sheet  filling  the  North  Sea,  was 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

ultimately  compelled  to  travel  down  the  Vale  of  York. 
This  diversion  of  the  Teesdale  glacier  let  in  another  ice 
stream  from  the  north  which  had  passed  over  a  part  of  the 
Cheviot  Hills,  for  in  the  higher  levels  of  the  Yorkshire 
drift,  erratics  of  Cheviot  Porphyrite  and  Magnesian  Lime- 
stone are  very  abundant.  The  Cheviot  ice  swept  up  to  the 
escarpment  of  North  Cleveland,  and  down  the  Yorkshire 
coast,  scattering  its  characteristic  boulders  and  re-distribu- 
ting those  of  the  Teesdale  Glacier. 

Followed  from  the  low  grounds  up  to  their  boundaries, 
the  drift  deposits  gradually  become  thinner  and  thinner 
as  they  rise  along  the  slopes  of  the  hills,  until  they 
disappear  altogether.  In  the  words  of  Sir  Archibald 
Geikie,  "  these  uplands  appear  to  have  formed  a*ri 
insular  space  round  which  the  ice-sheets  swept,  but 
which  remained  unsubmerged."  The  South  Cleveland 
watershed,  the  northern  dales  and  the  valleys  of  Rosedale, 
Farndale,  Bransdale,  Bilsdale,  and  Ryedale  exhibit  no 
trace  of  extraneous  glaciation,  and  this  area  of  ice-free 
country,  termed  the  driftless  region  of  North-Eastern  York- 
shire, is  one  of  the  most  remarkable  features  of  the  geology 
of  the  district,  and  has  played  a  large  part  in  determining 
the  origin  and  distribution  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands. 

Here  and  there  the  drift  deposits  do  become  conspicuous 
upon  the  moors,  but  only  towards  their  northern  and  eastern 
boundaries,  and  they  always  indicate  the  position  of  the 
ice  front  at  or  near  the  period  of  maximum  glaciation.  On 
the  Lockwood  Hills,  near  Stanghow,  large  gravel  mounds 
are  conspicuous  at  an  elevation  of  875  feet,  the  highest 
point  reached  by  the  glacial  beds  in  Cleveland.  On  Easing- 
ton  High  Moor,  north  of  Danby  Beacon,  is  a  fine  gravelly 
moraine  which  must  have  stood  in  front  of  the  great  ice 
wall  pressing  against  the  northern  face  of  the  hills,  and  on 
Seamer  Moor  near  Scarborough,  occurs  a  similar  moraine, 
shown  in  Fig.  62.  Elsewhere  erratic  pebbles  and  thin  layers 
of  sand  or  gravel  alone  indicate  the  boundary  of  the  drift. 


l'ho'o  by] 

Fig.  29. — Foul  Syke  Peat  Cutting,   Robin       [Godfrey  Bingley. 
Hood's  Bay. 

/•■  ,t0  by] 

FlG.    |0.      Randan-  M  ERE    1  ROM    fHE  South. 

The  Ice  Age  on  the  Moors 

Some  of  these  often  occur  at  great  heights.  Thus  pebbles 
of  Cheviot  Porphyrites  are  scattered  amongst  the  Ling  on 
the  edge  of  Newton  Moor  above  Guisbrough  at  an  elevation 
of  one  thousand  feet. 

During  the  Ice  Age,  then,  the  moorland  district  presented 
the  following  aspects.  Great  rivers  of  ice  abutted  on  the 
escarpments  of  the  Cleveland  and  the  Hambleton  Hills,  in 
the  north-east  of  Cleveland  these  glaciers  swept  inland  as  far 
as  the  northern  sides  of  Danby  Beacon,  but  the  watershed 
between  this  hill  and  Whitby  was  covered  by  the  ice  which 
welled  up  the  Esk  Valley  to  Lealholm.  It  also  penetrated 
the  Murk  Esk  Valley  and  Iburndale,  and  south  of  Whitby, 
pressed  inland  as  far  as  the  great  ravine  of  Jugger  Howe 
Dale.  Beyond  Scarborough  the  glaciers  did  not  penetrate 
into  the  Vale  of  Pickering,  which  throughout  the  Ice  Age 
remained  unglaciated  as  did  the  high  moorlands  within  the 
lines  thus  briefly  indicated. 

If  the  boundary  of  the  drift  is  examined  in  North  Cleve- 
land, in  the  Murk  Esk  Valley,  and  in  the  coastal  region 
between  Robin  Hood's  Bay  and  Scarborough,  a  very  re- 
markable feature  is  found  associated  with  it.  Coinciding 
with  and  parallel  to  the  drift  edge,  moorland  valleys  of  a 
striking  and  peculiar  character  are  to  be  observed,  the 
slacks  of  the  last  chapter.  They  are  invariably  flat-floored, 
independent  of  the  present  drainage  system,  at  considerable 
elevations,  and  practically  without  streams.  The  streams 
that  they  formerly  contained  must  have  filled  them  from 
side  to  side,  and  must  have,  in  many  instances,  flowed  along 
the  front  of  the  ice  sheet  when  this  stood  against  the  moor 
slopes.  This  kind  of  valley  is  shown  in  Figs.  28,  30,  32  and 
64.  Running  from  the  drift  edge  are  other  similar  valleys, 
cutting  through  watersheds  and  traversing  the  unglaciated 
country.     These  are  shown  in  Figs.  1,  2,  22,  23  and  31. 

Ewe  Crag  Slack  is  one  of  the  latter  kind.  It  contains  no 
stream  worth  mentioning,  its  floor  is  broad  and  flat,  and 
it  passes  through  the  North  Cleveland  watershed  close    to 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

the  drift  boundary  on  the  northern  side  of  the  moors,  a 
feature  shown  in  Fig.  22.  The  stream  that  occupied  and 
carved  out  Ewe  Crag  Slack,  must,  in  its  origin,  have  been 
very  different  from  those  which  excavated  the  normal 
moorland  gills  and  dales. 

If,  after  entering  the  moors  by  way  of  Newton  Dale, 
we  had  then  been  conveyed  to  the  sides  of  Ewe  Crag  Slack, 
we  should  have  at  once  perceived  that  the  latter  is  very 
similar  to  the  great  ravine.  In  fact,  the  slack  is  a  replica 
in  miniature  of  the  Newton  Dale  valley.  Like  Ewe  Crag, 
Newton  Dale  at  Fen  Bogs  cuts  through  a  watershed  ;  like 
it,  Newton  Dale  has  a  broad  flat  floor  ;  and  yet  again, 
Newton  Dale  flows  away  fron  the  area  of  glaciation  in  the 
Murk  Esk  Valley  into  the  ice-free  country  beyond  (Figs. 
1  and  2). 

As  these  slacks  without  streams  run  in  directions  con- 
trary to  those  of  the  normal  drainage  of  the  district,  and  as 
they  show  by  their  disposition  and  configuration  that  the 
normal  valleys  were  in  existence  when  they  were  formed,  it 
becomes  clear  that  they  must  have  been  produced  by 
some  temporary  alteration  of  the  drainage.  The  intimate 
relation  subsisting  between  the  dry  valleys  and  the  drift 
margin  indicates  that  the  two  are  causally  associated,  for 
the  glaciers  which  abutted  against  the  uplands  obstructed 
the  rivers,  and  their  waters,  being  unable  to  escape  by 
their  usual  outlets,  accumulated  within  the  northern  and 
eastern  dales,  as  glacier-lakes,  the  overflowing  of  which 
along  and  from  the  ice  margin,  gave  rise  to  that  system  of 
dry  valleys  so  peculiar  to,  and  characteristic  of  the  Eastern 
Moorlands.  When  the  glaciers  finally  vanished  from  the 
district,  the  obstructed  drainage  resumed  its  former  courses, 
leaving  the  old  overflow  channels  as  silent  witnesses  of 
geographical  conditions  long  since  passed  away. 

To  revert  to  Ewe  Crag  Slack.  The  ice  pressing  against 
the  northern  hills  obstructed  the  drainage  falling  into  the 
sea,  and  the  water  accumulating  between  the  moor  slopes 


The  Ice  Age  on  the  Moors 

and  the  ice  front  was  compelled  to  overflow  the  watershed 
into  Eskdale.  In  time  the  great  slack  was  excavated,  and 
at  its  outlet  into  Eskdale  is  a  large  deposit  of  gravel — its 
delta — consisting  of  materials  derived  from  the  erosion  of 
the  gorge  and  erratic  boulders  from  the  ice  itself.  Simul- 
taneously with  the  formation  of  the  slack  a  series  of  channels 
drained  from  the  Lockwood  Hills  towards  Ewe  Crag,  but 
with  the  retreat  of  the  ice,  when  the  streams  would  resume 
their  normal  courses,  these  overflow  channels  and  Ewe  Crag 
Slack  were  left  high  and  dry. 

In  Fig.  22  one  of  these  related  channels  is  indicated  by  the 
notch  in  the  moor  slope  in  the  background  whilst  in  Fig.  23, 
an  excavation  in  the  gravel  delta  is  shown  on  the  left-hand 
side  of  the  valley  at  its  far  end. 

We  owe  the  explanation  of  the  origin  of  these  remarkable 
valleys  to  Professor  P.  F.  Kendall,  of  Leeds  University. 
In  his  celebrated  paper  on  "  A  System  of  Glacier-Lakes  in 
the  Cleveland  Hills,"  read  before  the  Geological  Society 
in  January,  1902,  he  demonstrated  the  former  presence  of 
glacier-lakes  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  and  incidentally 
settled  many  vexed  questions  in  British  glacial  geology. 
"A  System  of  Glacier-Lakes  in  the  Cleveland  Hills"  is 
one  of  the  most  important  contributions  ever  made  to  our 
knowledge  of  glacial  erosion,  and  must  be  carefully  studied 
by  all  who  wish  to  comprehend  the  fundamental  significance 
of  the  Ice  Age  on  the  moors. 

It  is  unnecessary  for  our  purpose  to  give  a  complete  ac- 
count of  Professor  Kendall's  investigations,  and  it  will 
therefore  suffice  if  we  describe  the  interconnection  of  some 
of  the  most  striking  phenomena. 

In  Eskdale  glacial  deposits  actually  due  to  the  presence 
of  ice  can  only  be  traced  upstream  as  far  as  Lealholm, 
where  a  fine  terminal  moraine  crosses  the  valley  in 
the  form  of  a  huge  ridge,  the  southern  end  of  which  is 
severed  by  the  Esk  at  the  beautiful  gorge  of  Crunkley  Gill. 
In  Kildale  a  similar  moraine  blocks  the  entrance  to  the 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

valley  just  west  of  the  village.  When  the  ice  barriers  at 
these  places  were  in  existence,  the  drainage  of  the  valley 
from  Kildale  to  Lealholm  together  with  that  of  the  northern 
dales  would  be  obstructed,  and  would  accumulate  to  such 
a  depth  until  it  would  ultimately  overflow  the  valley  walls. 
In  the  case  of  a  glacier-lake  surrounded  by  hills  of  different 
elevations,  this  point  of  overflow  must  of  necessity  be  the 
lowest,  and  as  the  escaping  waters  are  sure  to  bear  much 
sediment  with  them,  a  channel  will  be  excavated  in  the 
rocks  they  pass  over.  Moreover  in  glacier-lake  overflows  the 
altitude  of  the  channel  so  eroded  will  provide  us  with  a  clue 
to  the  depth  and  size  of  the  lake.  If,  then,  the  Esk  Valley 
and  Kildale  were  obstructed  in  the  way  described,  and  a  large 
lake  formed  in  them,  we  must  look  for  its  overflow  at  the 
lowest  levels  left  free  by  the  invasion  of  the  ice-sheet, 
and  this  is  best  done  by  tracing  the  boundary  of  the  drift 
deposits  from  the  moraines. 

At  Kildale  the  hills  are  much  higher  than  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Lealholm,  and  if  the  drift  margin  is  examined 
no  traces  of  any  overflows  are  to  be  found.  Turning  to 
Lealholm,  we  find  that  the  boundary  of  the  drift  falls  in  a 
south-easterly  direction  from  the  moraine  across  the  mouths 
of  Glaisdale  and  Egton  Grange,  and  along  the  slopes  of  Murk 
Mire  Moor,  a  tongue  of  land  dividing  the  latter  valley  from 
that  of  the  Murk  Esk.  This  moorland  ridge  has  the  lowest 
elevation  of  any  of  the  ridges  dividing  the  northern  dales 
at  their  confluence  with  the  Esk  Valley,  and  consequently, 
as  the  drift  only  touches  its  lower  end,  we  find  thereon 
exactly  in  front  of,  and  parallel  to  what  we  know  must 
have  been  the  ice  front,  a  series  of  dry  valleys  of  a  very 
remarkable  character. 

High  up  on  the  moor,  at  an  elevation  of  725  feet,  begins  the 
first  of  the  overflow  channels  which  drained  Lake  Eskdale. 
Opening  on  the  steep  slopes  of  the  Egton  Grange  valley, 
now  of  course  streamless,  and  known  as  Lady  Bridge  Slack, 
it  runs  south-eastwards  against  the  general  inclination  of 


The  Ice  Age  on  the  Moors 

the  moor  which  is  in  the  opposite  direction.  This  inde- 
pendence of  the  overflow  channels  of  the  topography  con- 
stitutes one  of  their  most  remarkable  and  note-worthy 
characteristics,  and  points  conclusively  to  a  special  mode 
of  origin  due  to  the  presence  of  ice  barriers. 

The  overflow  continues  along  the  side  of  the  moor  to 
Hazel  Head  at  the  entrance  to  Wheeldale,  where  there  is 
no  definite  channel,  but  a  series  of  gravel  mounds  in  front 
of  which  the  overflow  took  place.*     The   distribution  of 
the  drift  in  the  valley  of  the  Murk  Esk  shows  that  a  great 
lobe  of  ice  welled  up  this  dale  as  far  south  as  Two  Howes 
Rigg,  above  Goathland.     Along  the  western  margin  of  this 
ice  lobe  the  channel  on  Murk  Mire  Moor  was  excavated  at 
a  considerable  elevation  above  the  floor  of  the  valley.     As 
the  intake  of  Lady  Bridge  Slack  stands  at  725  feet  on  the 
moor  edge,  the  water  that  flowed  down  it  must  have  reached 
that  altitude  in  Eskdale  before  the  overflow  could  have  com- 
menced.    In  other  words,  since  Lady  Bridge  Slack  is  over 
400  feet  above  the  average  level  of  the  floor  of  Eskdale, 
Glaisdale,  and  the  Butler  Beck  Valley,  this  latter  as  a  rule 
being  about  325-350  feet,  it  follows  they  were  filled  with 
water  to  a  height  of  725  feet.     By  tracing  this  line  on  the 
contoured  maps  of  Eskdale,  Professor  Kendall  has  outlined 
the  area  occupied  by  the  glacier-lake,  and  in  his  own  lan- 
guage, "  the  evidence  of  these  overflows  proves  that  at  the 
maximum  extension  of  the  ice  a  lake  was  held  up  in  Eskdale 
to  an  altitude  of  over  725  feet ;    and  assuming  that  it  ex- 
tended no  further  than  the  gap  at  West  Bank  House  in 
Kildale,  it  would  have  been  about  eleven  miles  long  and 
not  less  than  400  feet  deep  ;    it  would  have  ramifications 
up  all  the  tributary  valleys.     I  propose  for  it  the  name  of 
Lake  Eskdale." f 

Returning  to  the   Murk  Mire  Moor  channel  at  its  outfall 
at  Hazel  Head,  we  find  this  occurs  at  about  670  feet.     Stand- 

*  Kendall,  p.  506. 
f  Kendall,  p.  507. 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

ing  at  the  farm  known  as  the  "  Hollins,"  and  looking  across 
Wheeldale  to  Two  Howes  Rigg,  we  can  see  a  square  cut 
notch  in  the  slope  of  the  moor  outlined  against  the  sky. 
This  notch  forms  the  intake  of  another  overflow  channel, 
Moss  Slack,  falling  eastwards  across  the  end  of  the  Rigg, 
the  level  of  which  at  its  intake  is  675  feet,  precisely  the 
same  as  that  of  the  outfall  on  Hazel  Head.  This  coincidence 
means  that  the  ice  obstructing  the  end  of  Wheeldale,  pounded 
back  the  drainage  of  that  valley  until  a  lake  was  formed, 
whose  surface  level  attained  an  elevation  of  675  feet.  The 
drainage  of  Lake  Eskdale,  therefore,  at  the  epoch  of  maxi- 
mum extension  fell  into  Lake  Wheeldale,  and  Lake  Wheel- 
dale  drained  through  Moss  Slack,  into  another  lake  in  the 
valley  of  Eller  Beck,  to  which  we  shall  presently  refer. 

The  Murk  Mire  Moor  channel  being  very  shallow,  it  follows 
that  the  ice  did  not  remain  long  in  this  position,  or  other- 
wise the  valley  would  have  been  cut  more  deeply.  In 
fact,  it  forms  what  Professor  Kendall  has  termed  '  the 
touch  and  go  stage,"  where  the  ice  having  reached  its 
greatest  elevation  almost  immediately  fell  back  to  a  lower 
level.  This  lower  level  is  represented  on  Murk  Mire  Moor 
by  the  dry  gorge  called  Park  Dyke  Slack,  a  continuation 
of  Lady  Bridge  Slack.  We  find  that  the  two  overflows  are 
separated  by  the  valley  of  Oakley  Beck,  a  normal  stream 
falling  into  the  Murk  Esk.  The  contours  show,  and  it  can 
be  verified  by  mere  inspection,  that  the  outfall  of  Lady 
Bridge  Slack  into  Oakley  Beck  is  lower  than  the  intake  of 
Park  Dyke  Slack  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  stream  ;  the 
interpretation  put  upon  this  fact  by  Professor  Kendall 
being  that  the  ice  retreated  from  the  latter  slack  more 
rapidly  than  from  the  former,  and  was  consequently  eroded 
more  deeply,  viz.,  to  below  700  feet,  which  proves,  of  course, 
that  the  great  lake  in  Eskdale  had  been  lowered  at  least 
twenty-five  feet. 

The  next  episode  in  the  history  of  Lake  Eskdale  revealed 
by  this  remarkable  piece  of  moorland  took  place  after  the 


The  Ice  Age  on  the  Moors 

ice  margin  had  melted  back  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  from 
the  higher  slacks.  Here  another  series  of  overflows  at  a 
lower  level  and  parallel  to  the  upper  one  was  initiated,  and 
the  two  great  valleys  of  Moss  Swang  and  Randay  Mere 
were  excavated  by  the  then  rapidly  sinking  Lake  Eskdale. 
The  road  from  Egton  Bridge  to  Goathland  runs  along  the 
eastern  side  of  these  fine  relics  of  the  Ice  Age.  Ascending 
the  steep  road  from  Egton  Bridge  until  we  arrive  at  the 
cross  road  leading  to  Grosmont,  and  turning  towards  the 
west,  we  have  spread  out  below  us  the  intake  of  the  great 
Moss  Swang  valley.  Arising  on  the  moor  edge  high  above 
the  floor  of  Egton  Grange,  it  points  directly  up  Eskdale 
in  the  direction  whence  the  impounded  drainage  came. 
On  the  northern  side  of  the  intake  is  the  grassy  hill,  Lord's 
Seat,  on  which  the  ice  must  have  stood,  and  in  front  of 
which  the  overflow  must  have  travelled  ;  but  on  the  eastern 
side  of  Lord's  Seat,  Moss  Swang  is  quite  open  with  a  flat 
peat-filled  floor  and  with  a  steep  scarp  on  the  moor  edge  to 
the  south.  From  this  circumstance  it  is  to  be  inferred  that 
the  ice  here  "  thrust  forward  against  the  lake-outflow."* 

After  this  stage  of  shelf  and  scarp,  Moss  Swang  turns 
southwards,  and  rapidly  becomes  a  great  canon  over  200 
feet  deep  and  quite  streamless.  The  annexed  photograph 
(Fig.  28)  gives  a  clear  idea  of  the  valley  which  exhibits  all 
the  characteristics  of  lake  overflows,  distinguishing  them 
from  any  valleys  of  normal  erosion  in  North-Eastern  York- 
shire. It  has  steep  sides,  a  broad  flat  streamless  floor,  well 
seen  in  the  illustration,  and  meanders,  which  show  that  the 
water  flowing  through  filled  the  channel  from  wall  to  wall. 
At  some  period  during  the  excavation  of  Moss  Swang  the 
ice  at  its  southern  end  re-advanced  across  the  valley,  and 
compelled  the  overflow  from  Lake  Eskdale  to  travel  at  a 
higher  level.  The  evidence  for  this  we  find  in  an  immense 
loop  isolating  the  Castle  Hill,  formerly  considered  a  fort  by 

*  Op.  cit.,  p.  485. 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

some  local  antiquarians!  The  photograph  of  Moss  Swang 
shows  this  feature  very  well.  In  the  immediate  background 
lies  the  Castle  Hill,  whilst  the  depression  to  the  right  marks 
the  intake  of  the  higher  channel — the  oxbow  as  it  is  termed 
— fully  fifty  feet  above  the  floor  of  the  main  valley.  A 
further  retreat  of  the  ice  margin  re-opened  the  lower  channel, 
leaving  the  oxbow  high  and  dry  as  one  of  the  most  imposing 
relics  of  the  Glacial  Period  in  Cleveland. 

Further  along  the  Goathland  Road  we  come  upon  the 
lower  segment  of  the  present  overflow,  which,  like  the  higher 
overflow,  is  divided  by  Oakley  Beck.  This  lower  segment 
is  the  valley  of  Randay  Mere  (Fig.  30).  Of  course  whilst 
these  channels  were  being  eroded  the  level  of  the  great  lake 
in  Eskdale  was  being  steadily  lowered  until  it  had  sunk  a 
hundred  feet  below  its  highest  level.  This  fact  is  proved  by 
the  altitude  of  the  Moss  Swang  outfall  which  stands  at  625 

But  we  have  not  yet  finished  the  history  of  the  overflows 
from  the  lake.  We  have  yet  to  trace  the  further  course  of 
the  escaping  waters  through  that  magnum  opus  of  the  Ice 
Age,  the  grand  valley  of  Newton  Dale,  between  whose  pre- 
cipitous walls  the  drainage  of  Lake  Eskdale  travelled  for  a 
long  period. 

It  will  have  been  noticed  that  the  slacks  on  Murk  Mire 
Moor  all  fall  in  one  general  direction,  towards  the  south  or 
south-east.  It  is  evident,  then,  that  the  waters  of  Lake 
Eskdale  must  have  had  some  ultimate  outlet  yet  further 
southwards,  and  from  its  elevation,  the  lowest  point  of  the 
South  Cleveland  watershed,  the  great  Newton  Dale  gorge 
must  be  regarded  as  the  main  escape  of  the  Eskdale  system 
of  lakes.  Speaking  of  it  Professor  Kendall  says  : — "  Newton 
Dale  has  long  been  an  object  of  interest  to  me  and  of  wonder- 
ment, because  of  its  immense  depth  and  the  way  in  which 
it  passes  completely  through  the  watershed.  Reflecting 
upon  these  characters,  with  the  light  obtained  by  studies 
of  glacial  overflows  near  Ripon  and  Knaresborough,  I  was 


rhofoby]         Fig.  31. — Newton  Dale  above  Levisham  Station.    [Frank  Elgee. 


.43*1  ^& 

rhoto  I  iG.    [2.     Hardale  Slack,   Roxby  Old  Muni;.      God/n    1 

The  Ice  Aae  on  the  Moors 


brought  to  the  conclusion  that  Newton  Dale  must  be  the 
overflow  of  a  glacier-dammed  lake  in  the  Eskdale  country. 
An  inspection  of  a  map  showed  that  if  the  normal  outlet 
of  the  Esk  were  closed,  this  would,  by  its  altitude,  be  the 
outlet.     This  clue  led  to  the  unravelling  of  the  whole  chain."* 

The  great  ice  lobe  which  filled  the  Murk  Esk  Valley 
abutted  on  the  end  of  Two  Howes  Rigg,  above  Goathland 
Church,  at  the  same  time  damming  back  the  drainage  of 
Eller  Beck  and  Wheeldale  on  either  side  of  it.  Lake  Wheel- 
dale  drained  by  Moss  Slack  (previously  mentioned)  into  the 
Eller  Beck  Lake  which,  in  its  turn,  was  obliged  to  overflow 
the  southern  watershed  where  Fen  Bogs,  the  head  of  Newton 
Dale,  now  is.  In  pre-glacial  times,  probably  no  part  of 
the  dale  above  Raindale  Mill  existed  ;  the  moorlands  of 
Goathland  then  extended  in  an  unbroken  line  from  west  to 
east  with  small  streams  falling  into  Eller  Beck  on  one  side 
and  into  Pickering  Beck  on  the  other.  The  lake  in  the 
valley  of  Eller  Beck  rose  to  a  height  of  650  feet,  the  lowest 
point  of  the  watershed,  when  it  began  to  drain  southwards 
into  the  Vale  of  Pickering.  Along  the  line  thus  initiated, 
the  upper  portion  of  Newton  Dale  was  excavated  by  the 
convergence  upon  it  of  the  whole  series  of  overflows  from 
Lake  Eskdale,  and  we  may  judge  of  the  length  of  time 
which  this  took  when  we  recollect  that  by  Newton  Dale 
the  level  of  the  lake  was  reduced  from  725  to  525  feet ;  the 
latter  level  being  determined  by  Professor  Kendall  from  a 
series  of  borings  in  the  peaty  morass  of  Fen  Bogs. 

To  walk  down  Newton  Dale  to  Levisham  Station  is  one 
of  the  most  impressive  geological  excursions  in  the  whole 
of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire.  After  leaving  Fen  Bog  Houses 
the  observer  soon  perceives  that  the  valley,  quite  streamless, 
though  much  filled  with  swamp,  rapidly  deepens,  until  a 
depth  of  400  feet  has  been  reached.  On  either  hand  are 
steep  slopes  becoming  sheer  precipices  of  rock  at  the  summit, 

*  "  System  of  Glacier  Lakes,"  p.  502. 

145  K 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

and  the  whole  scene  is  wild  and  rugged  in  the  extreme. 
Mentally  comparing  it  with  the  normal  valleys  of  the  dis- 
trict, such  as  Danby  Dale  or  Glaisdale,  the  geologist  finds 
that  it  differs  from  them  in  form,  in  drainage  and  in  slope. 
Practically  streamless,  cutting  through  a  watershed,  and 
possessing  immense  bends,  the  head  of  Newton  Dale  for 
over  three  miles  bears  witness  to  the  enormous  volume  of 
water  which  must  have  poured  down  it ;  and  if  this  valley 
alone  had  been  adduced  as  evidence  for  Lake  Eskdale  we 
should  have  been  compelled  to  accept  the  conclusion.  It 
cannot  be  too  strongly  insisted  upon  that  Newton  Dale  is 
utterly  unlike  any  valley  which  normal  stream  erosion  has 
produced  on  the  Eastern  Moorlands.  To  see  this  it  needs 
but  to  compare  the  views  of  the  great  ravine  in  Figs,  i  and 
2,  with  those  of  Baysdale  (Figs.  52  and  53)  and  Winter  Gill 
(Fig.  51)  ;  valleys  that  have  been  excavated  by  the  streams 
now  flowing  through  them. 

It  will  enable  us  better  to  understand  the  valleys  of  the 
Ice  Age,  so  mysterious  in  their  upland  calm  and  solitude, 
if  we  imagine  that  the  Esk  still  continued  to  flow  down  them. 
We  should  find  the  river  deviating  from  its  course  near 
Egton  Bridge,  flowing  down  Moss  Swang  and  Randay  Mere, 
and  via  Fen  Bogs  and  Newton  Dale  into  the  Vale  of  Pickering. 
At  the  same  time  the  Murk  Esk  Valley  and  the  seaward  end 
of  Eskdale  would  be  deserted  by  their  respective  rivers. 
What  we  have  here  imagined  to  be  the  case,  has  actually 
occurred  to  the  Derwent  along  the  edge  of  the  moors  between 
Harwood  Dale  and  East  Ay  ton.  Here,  the  drainage  of  the 
moorlands  was  dammed  up  and  formed  glacier-lakes  which 
overflowed  along  the  ice  margin  into  the  Vale  of  Pickering. 
On  the  retreat  of  the  ice,  however,  the  overflows  had  cut  so 
deeply  that  any  resumption  of  flow  along  old  lines  of  drainage 
was  out  of  the  question.  Consequently,  the  rivers  which 
formerly  occupied  the  Symes  and  Sea  Cut  Valleys  were 
turned  aside,  and  now  travel  through  the  great  river  gorges  of 
Langdale  and  Forge  Valley  ;   and  it  is  easy  to  see  that  the 


The  Ice  A^e  on  the  Moors 


Esk  would  have  travelled  in  similar  gorges  if  the  glacial 
dams  had  persisted  long  enough. 

Extraordinary  as  the  phenomena  of  the  Ice  Age  on  Murk 
Mire  Moor  are,  they  are  perhaps  exceeded  by  the  network 
of  dry  channels  "  cut  "  as  Professor  Kendall  says,  "by  the 
overflowing  waters  of  glacial  lakes  out  of  a  gently  sloping 
plateau  of  at  present  heather-clad  moors,"  west  of   Robin 
Hood's  Bay.     Advancing  up  Iburndale  beyond  the  Falling 
Foss,  the  northern  ice  sheet  obstructed  the  drainage,  and 
this  escaped  eastwards  by  Biller  Howe  Dale,  which,  turning 
southwards  near  the   Flask  Inn,   becomes  the  impressive 
ravine  of  Jugger  Howe  Dale  (Fig.  64).     This  latter  valley 
was  formed  along  the  ice  margin  and  runs  from  behind 
Robin  Hood's  Bay  to  Harwood  Dale.     Connected  with  it  near 
Robin  Hood's  Bay  is  a  complicated  network  of  dry  slacks 
which  record  the  fluctuations  of  the  ice  front  in  a  very  clear 
manner.     To  describe  them  here  is  impossible  ;    but  some 
idea  of  this  piece  of  moorland  country  may  be  conveyed 
when  it  is  borne  in  mind  that  in  a  very  small  area  no  fewer 
than  a  dozen  overflow  channels  and  three  oxbows  (one  of 
these  Brown  Rigg,  is  shown  in  the  left  background  of  Fig. 
64)  occur,  most  of  them  of  large  size.     Professor  Kendall 
states  that  these  remains  "  impressed  him  more  than  any 
other  illustration  of  the  effects  of  the  Ice  Age  that  he  had 
seen,"    and   with   this   opinion   we    must    agree.     A    more 
remarkable  piece  of  moorland  it  would  be  diffcult  to  imagine. 

Mention  must  also  be  made  of  the  great  parallel  valleys 
on  Hardhurst  Moor,  west  of  Hayburn  Wyke.  All  indicative 
of  stages  in  the  recession  of  the  ice  margin  from  Jugger 
Howe  Dale,  they  traverse  from  north  to  south  the  spur  of 
moorland  lying  between  Staintondale  and  the  Symes  Valley. 
First  we  have  Cowgate  Slack  near  the  Falcon  Inn  ;  then 
further  eastwards  comes  Hardhurst  Slack  followed  by  the 
Ringing  Keld  Valley.  A  continuation  of  this  latter  south- 
wards is  the  "  magnificent  gorge  of  Oxdale  Slack,  nearly 
a  mile  long,  and  not  less  than  seventy-five  feet  deep  near 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

the  intake,  which  gashes  completely  through  a  bold  spur 
composed  of  hard  and  massive  grits  forming  the  last  limit 
of  the  Lake  Hayburn  watershed.  There  is  scarcely  any 
more  instructive  and  convincing  example  to  be  found  in 
the  district  than  this  wild  rocky  gorge  sweeping  completely 
through  from  side  to  side  of  the  hill  "  (Kendall)  ;  and  there 
are  other  gorges  at  lower  levels. 

In  North  Cleveland  similar  features  occur.  Ewe  Crag 
Slack  is  one  ;  and  on  the  northern  slopes  of  the  moors 
evidences  of  glacier-lakes  are  to  be  met  with  in  numerous 
dry  valleys,  of  which  Hardale  Slack  (Fig.  32),  Tranmire  Slack, 
and  Moss  Syke  Slack  are  the  most  striking. 

Various  minor  changes  were  produced  during  the  Ice 
Age,  of  which  perhaps  the  most  interesting  is  Stony 
Moor,  at  the  foot  of  the  Tabular  Hills  below  Newton-on- 
Rawcliffe,  and  on  the  brink  of  Newton  Dale  itself.  In  July 
1906  when  I  first  visited  this  locality  I  was  much  surprised 
at  the  quantity  of  boulders,  large  and  small,  which  cover 
the  moor.  Inspection  showed,  moreover,  that  they  con- 
sisted chiefly  of  Estuarine  grits  and  sandstones,  whereas 
the  rock  they  reposed  upon  was  the  Kellaways.  Among 
them  I  also  detected  some  large  pebbles  of  quartz  and  quart- 
zite.  At  the  time  I  was  quite  at  a  loss  to  account  for  this- 
phenomenon  ;  but  in  a  paper  published  in  the  "  Proceedings 
of  the  Yorkshire  Geological  Society  for  1905,"  Mr.  J.  T.. 
Sewell,  of  Whitby,  showed  how  the  presence  of  these  boulders 
could  be  explained  by  a  high  overflow  out  of  the  head  of 
Wheeldale.  This  overflow  took  place  through  a  peat-filled 
channel  known  as  Slavey  Slack  between  Brown  Howe  and 
Wardle  Rigg  separating  Newton  Dale  from  Wheeldale. 
The  rush  of  water  down  the  slack  brought  with  it  the  boulders 
which  were  precipitated  on  the  Kellaways  Rock  of  Stony 


We  have  only  been  able  to  give  a  mere  outline  of  the 
geological  effects  of  the  Ice  Age  on  the  moors.  However 
surprising  it  may  seem  to  those  who  have  not  paid  special 


The  Ice  A^e  on  the  Moors 


attention  to  the  subject,  we  can  assure  them  that  it  rests 
on  incontrovertible  evidence.  Numerous  workers  in  all 
parts  of  Europe  and  North  America  have  established  the 
former  existence  of  an  age  of  intense  cold  which  may  date 
back  from  10,000  up  to  100,000  years  ago  ;  and  though 
many  special  problems  are  still  unsettled,  we  may  regard 
the  Ice  Age  as  an  ascertained  and  indisputable  stage  in  the 
Quaternary  history  of  the  northern  hemisphere. 



HAVING  gained  some  knowledge  of  the  Glacial 
Period  and  its  effects  upon  the  moors,  we  are 
in  a  position  to  begin  our  enquiry  into  the  origin 
of  the  chief  moorland  plants  and  their  relation 
to  that  period.  Veiled  in  the  obscurity  of  past  ages 
as  their  origin  is,  yet  it  can  be  partially  discovered  by 
the  consideration  of  the  following  lines  of  evidence  : — their 
geographical  distribution,  their  conditions  of  life,  their 
geological  age,  and  the  fluctuations  of  climate  in  Tertiary  and 
Quaternary  times.  In  this  way  some  idea  can  be  formed 
of  the  evolution  of  the  ericetal  flora  ;  though  the  conclusions 
reached  must  be  largely  speculative  as  this  branch  of  our 
subject  is  beset  with  peculiar  difficulties,  chiefly  arising  from 
the  lack  of  fossil  remains  which  would  furnish  clear  evidence 
as  to  the  history  of  the  plants  in  question.  Facts  relative 
to  the  origin  of  the  moorland  flora  are  not  yielded  by  its 
local  aspects  ;  hence  the  necessity  for  treating  the  problem 
generally.  All  available  material  from  every  part  of  Europe 
must  be  surveyed  before  we  can  possibly  arrive  at  any 
solution,  and  even  after  we  have  done  this  we  shall  still 
be  uncertain  about  many  essential  points.  Taking  the 
Glacial  Period  as  the  central  point  in  this  enquiry,  we  may 
divide  the  history  of  the  moorland  plants  into  three  stages — 
the  pre-glacial,  the  glacial  and  the  post-glacial.  Not  that 
any  hard  and  fast  line  can  be  drawn  between  these  stages, 
but  they  constitute  convenient  though  vague  chronological 
divisions  which  will  be  most  useful  to  us.  We  have  in 
earlier  chapters  considered  the  events  in  the  post-glacial 
history  of  the  moors,  and  we  now  propose  to  carry  back 


The  Origin  of  the  Moorland  Flora 

the  history  to  a  time  when  the  plants  did  not  exist,  and 
follow  their  gradual  development  through  the  ages. 

And  first  we  must  treat  of  their  geological  age.  Thanks 
to  the  researches  of  Mr.  Clement  Reid,  a  great  many- 
British  plants  have  been  detected  in  various  Quaternary 
deposits  in  different  parts  of  the  country,  and  with  facts 
drawn  from  other  sources,  the  following  is  all  the 
information  I  have  been  able  to  collect  concerning  the 
age  of  some  ericetal  species.* 

The  two  Heaths  and  the  Heather  have  not  yet  been  recorded 
in  the  fossil  state,  unless  we  call  the  remains  of  Ling  found 
by  Mr.  Lewis,  at  the  base  of  some  peat  beds  in  Scotland, 
fossils.  These  remains  of  Heather  occur  above  the 
boulder  clay,  and  seem,  in  some  instances,  to  have  been 
the  first  plants  to  colonise  the  ground  after  the  Ice  Age. 

The  Vacciniales  are  frequently  found  in  Quaternary 
formations,  and  the  following  are  the  facts  relative  to  their 
geological  history  : — 

Bilberry  (V.  myrtillus)  German  late  glacial  deposits. 
Cowberry  (V.  vitis-idcea)  German  late  glacial  deposits, 

and  in  Swedish  neolithic  deposits. 
Cranberry    (V.    oxycoccus)    German    inter-glacial    and 

Swedish  neolithic  deposits. 
Greater  Bilberry  (V.  idiginosum)   German  inter-glacial 

and  Swedish  late  glacial  and  neolithic  deposits. 
Bearberry  ( Arctostaphylos  uva-ursi)  English  late  glacial 
and  Swedish  neolithic  deposits. 
Other  fossil  records  of  ericetal  plants  according  to  the 
same  authority  are  : — 

Tormentil   (Potentilla  tormentilla)   English  inter-glacial 

Dwarf  Cornel  (Cormis  suecica)  Swedish  late  glacial  beds. 
Thyme  (Thymus  serpyllum)  Swedish  late  glacial  beds. 
Sheep's  Sorrel    (Rumcx   acetosella)   English   pre-glacial 

*  C.  Reid,  "  The  Origin  of  the  British  Flora." 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Gale  (Myrica  gale)  German  inter-glacial  beds. 

Birch  ( Betula  alba)  English  pre-glacial  to  recent  deposits. 

Crowberry  {Empetrum  nigrum)  Swedish  inter-glacial 

Scots  Pine  {Pinus  sylvestris)  English  pre-glacial  beds. 

Juniper  (Juniperus  communis)  German  inter-glacial 

Tufted  Club  Rush  (Scirpus  ccespitosa)  English  pre-glacial 

Cotton  Grass  (Eriophorum  vaginatum)  German  inter- 
glacial  beds. 

(Eriophorum  angusti folium)  English  pre-glacial  beds. 

Bracken  (Pteris  aquilina)  Tufas  of  Montpellier  (Geikie) 
and  Swedish  neolithic  deposits. 

The  whole  of  the  evidence  of  the  fossil  flora  of  Britain, 
so  ably  compiled  by  Mr.  Reid,  shows  that  very  few  moorland 
plants  date  back  to  pre-glacial  times,  though  the  majority 
existed  in  the  Glacial  Period  ;  and,  as  we  shall  presently  see, 
most  of  these  are  plants  of  northern  distribution.  Now 
palaeontology  thoroughly  establishes  the  fact  that  most  of 
the  existing  species  of  animals  and  plants  had  arisen  in  pre- 
glacial  times  ;  that  is  to  say,  towards  the  close  of  the  Plio- 
cene period,  and  there  can  be  little  doubt  that  species  whose 
remains  have  not  been  found  in  a  fossil  state  also  date  back 
to  the  same  period  of  geological  history. 

Palseobotanical  records,  however,  only  tell  us  what  the 
age  of  any  particular  species  may  be,  and  at  what  particular 
geological  period  it  was  first  known  to  exist.  It  is  quite 
inadmissible  to  suppose  that  a  plant's  first  appearance  in 
the  strata  of  the  earth  is  indicative  of  the  exact  time  of  its 
origin,  and  for  anything  we  know  to  the  contrary,  it  may 
have  flourished  ages  before  its  occurrence  as  a  fossil  ;  and 
so  far  as  the  direct  evidence  concerning  the  moorland  flora 
goes,  we  have  no  clue  as  to  when  this  first  began  to  be  of 
importance    in    the    vegetation    of    western    Europe.     The 


The  Origin  of  the  Moorland  Flora 


facts  we  have  just  adduced  have  carried  us  up  to  the  front 
as  it  were,  and  we  are  left  facing  a  misty  era  in  the  history 
of  the  moors  which  is  most  difficult  of  interpretation ;  but 
a  little  consideration  of  some  further  palaeobotanical  data 
will  enable  us  to  define  more  clearly  the  probable  time  when 
the  moorland  species  were  evolved. 

It  is  not  necessary  to  go  further  back  than  the  Eocene 
period,   for,   though  flowering  plants  undoubtedly  existed 
in  Cretaceous  ages,  they  throw  no  light  whatever  upon  the 
present  problem.    The  Eocene  flora,  which  has  been  partially 
preserved  in  the  Paris  Basin,  the  west  of  France,  and  in 
the  south  of  England,  contains  the  first  important  indications 
of  recent  types  of  vegetation  ;    that  is  to  say,  of  genera 
flourishing  at  the  present  day  in  our  latitudes.     Amongst 
these  are  various  species  of  Oak  (Quercus),  Alder  (Alnus), 
Birch   (Betula),   Poplar  (Populns),  and  Ivy  {Hedera)  ;   but 
besides    these    there    have    been    found    numerous   species 
related  to  forms  still  living  in  warmer  parts  of  the  globe, 
arborescent   ferns,    Lauracece,   etc.,   together   with    extinct 
types  such  as  Dryophyllum,  Dewalqueia,  etc.     The  flora  has 
a  distinctly  tropical  facies  probably  indicative  of  a  much 
warmer   climate.     Hence   no   evidence  in  Eocene  deposits 
throws  any  light  upon  the  moor  problem,  except  in  a  nega- 
tive way.     So  far  as  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  is  concerned, 
the  moors  could  not  then  have  existed  for  three  reasons  : — 
first,  because  the  rocks  on  which  the  moors  repose  were 
covered  by  strata  now  eroded  away  and  which  would  give 
rise  to  soils  totally  unsuited  to  ericetal  plants  ;   second,  the 
climate  was  perhaps  too  warm  for  their  proper  develop- 
ment ;    and  third,  because  the  Eocene  flora,  though  it  con- 
tains many  species  of  Gale  (Myrica),  does  not  contain  any 
existing  moorland  plants.     With  regard  to  Myrica  several 
forms  have  been  recorded  from  the  Lower  Bagshot  Beds  of 
the  south  of  England,  Myrica  salicina  and  acuminata  being 
instances,  though  the  first  indications  of  this  genus  have  been 
•detected  in  the  younger  Cretaceous  beds  of  North  America. 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

According  to  Professor  Schenk,  these  identifications  are  un- 
certain because  the  leaves  of  most  species  of  Myrica  possess 
no  definite  characteristics  which  would  enable  them  to  be 
assigned  to  this  family.*  Several  fossil  species  have  been 
identified  with  certainty  as  belonging  to  the  sub-group 
Comptonia,  represented  at  the  present  day  by  a  single  north 
American  species,  Myrica  asplenifolia  Br.,  a  sub-group  which 
does  not  include  the  Sweet  Gale  and  which  attained  a  rich 
development  in  Europe  in  Tertiary  times,  particularly  in  the 
Pliocene  period,  j 

Passing  next  to  the  Oligocene  flora,  this,  according  to 
Zeiller,  is  characterised  by  types  peculiar  to  warm  regions, 
palms  being  specially  abundant.  :£  But  the  most  striking 
feature  of  this  stage  of  Tertiary  history  is  the  relationship 
which  exists  between  many  of  its  species  and  those  living 
to-day,  including  such  well-known  plants  as  Junipers,  Oaks, 
Beeches,  Sallows,  Elms,  etc.,  which  do  not  seem  to  have 
appreciably  varied  since  then.  The  only  true  ericetal 
species  appears  to  be  Andromeda,  which,  amongst  many 
localities,  has  been  found  in  the  intercalated  plant  beds 
in  the  basalt  plateau  of  Antrim.  Vaccinium  leaves  are 
recorded  by  the  Marquis  de  Saporta  from  the  Lower  Oligo- 
cene of  Camoins-les-Bains  in  France,  but  these  are  doubtful 
determinations  according  to  Schenk. § 

During  the  Miocene  period,  tropical  types  decreased  in 
numbers,  and  deciduous  trees  and  species  closely  related  to 
those  living  in  our  latitudes  to-day  increased.  Zeiller 
states  that  the  European  Miocene  flora  recalls  that  of  North 
America,  this  continent  and  Europe  being  inhabited  by 
almost  the  same  vegetation.  It  is  in  this  period  that  we 
meet  the  only  recorded  fossil  Heaths,  three  species  {Erica 
deleta,  Bruckmanni  Heer,  E.  nitidula  A.  Brg.)  having  been 

*  Zittel's  "  Handbuch  der  Palaeontologie,"  Abtheilung  n,  p.   833* 

t  Op.  cit,  pp.  452-458- 

%  "  Elements  de  Paleobotanique,"  pp.  352"3- 

§  Op.  cit.,  pp.  719-720. 


The  Origin  of  the  Moorland  Flora 


described  from  remains  found  in  the  upper  Miocene  of 
Oeningen  in  Switzerland,  whilst  an  allied  species,  Ericophyl- 
lum  ternatum  Con.,  has  been  detected  in  amber  in  Samland. 
Leaves  of  Vaccinium  are  numerous  and  this  genus  is  supposed 
to  have  then  attained  its  maximum  development  in  Europe. 
But  here  again  the  critical  examinations  of  Professor  Schenk 
in  the  work  already  quoted  have  thrown  a  doubt  upon  the 
precise  position  of  such  leaves  for  they  are  characteristic 
of  many  other  families  and  genera.  Nevertheless  the 
existence  of  the  small  inrolled  ericetal  type  of  leaf  may  be 
indicative  of  climatic  conditions  suitable  to  the  evolution 
of  plants  found  on  moors. 

The  gradual  cooling  of  the  climate  of  western  Europe,  so 
clearly  indicated  by  the  faunas  and  floras  of  mid-Tertiary 
age,  culminated  during  the  Pliocene  period  in  a  climate 
somewhat  similar  to  the  present,  as  is  proved  by  the  occur- 
rence of  species  characteristic  of  temperate  Europe  to-day. 
Though  the  adaptability  of  moorland  plants  enables  them 
to  flourish  in  very  varied  habitats  throughout  their  range, 
yet  it  is  only  under  specific  meteorological  conditions  that 
moors  properly  so-called  could  have  originated.  As  we 
have  seen,  these  essential  conditions  are  a  considerable  and 
constant  quantity  of  rain  with  rare  intervals  of  drought, 
and  a  low  average  summer  temperature  with  a  variable 
winter  and  short  duration  of  frosts.  As  the  climates  of 
Eocene,  Oligocene,  and  Miocene  times  were  tropical  or  sub- 
tropical, it  hardly  seems  likely  that  the  present  moorland 
plants  could  then  have  flourished  owing  to  the  absence  of 
the  necessary  conditions,  though  it  must  be  admitted  that 
the  ericetal  type  of  vegetation  may  have  existed  for  a  long 
period,  but  not  necessarily  composed  of  recent  species  or 
even  of  the  same  class  of  plants.  Only  as  the  special  con- 
ditions arose  during  the  more  temperate  Pliocene  ages  could 
the  moorland  species  have  been  evolved  and  become  at  all 
numerous.  These  somewhat  general  considerations,  there- 
fore, lead  to  the  conclusion  that  the  moorland  plants  origin- 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

ated  in  the  Pliocene  period,  and  that  before  this  period, 
though  species  belonging  to  ericetal  genera  existed,  they 
must  be  regarded  as  precursors  of  the  present  forms.  If 
moors  flourished  during  the  early  and  mid-Tertiary  periods, 
they  must  have  possessed  a  very  different  facies  from  those 
of  to-day. 

Having  thus  vaguely  limited  the  time  when  the  moorland 
plants  began  to  assume  an  importance  in  the  world's  vege- 
tation, let  us  next  endeavour  to  determine  the  place  or 
places  of  their  origin,  and  if  possible,  the  relative  ages  of  the 
different  species ;  and  on  this  phase  of  their  history  their 
geographical  distribution  sheds  a  strong  light,  and  enables  us 
to  trace  with  some  definiteness  their  past  movements  over 
the  surface  of  the  earth. 

In  studying  the  geographical  distribution  of  either  plants 
or  animals  in  order  to  ascertain  their  places  of  origin,  several 
important  principles  must  be  borne  in  mind,  and  as  we 
shall  require  these  when  dealing  with  the  fauna  of  the  moors, 
it  will  be  needful  to  glance  at  them  so  that  the  subject  may 
be  fully  understood. 

The  most  important  principle  is  that  every  animal  and 
plant  has  arisen  in  some  definite  area,  its  home  or  centre  of 
origin,  whence  it  has  spread  to  wherever  it  is  now  found. 
Various  means  of  dispersal  have  been  followed  by  different 
species,  and  in  the  case  of  the  plants  in  question,  all  the 
berry-bearing  species,  Bilberry,  Crowberry,  Cowberry,  etc., 
are  distributed  by  birds  ;  the  Heaths,  Heather,  Grasses  and 
Sedges  by  the  wind,  their  seeds  being  very  minute. 
But  besides  these  special  adaptations  to  facilitate  dispersal, 
there  is  a  universal  one  for  plants,  viz.  :  seeds  fall  from  the 
parent  plant  to  the  ground,  and  there  germinate  if  there  is 
space  or  the  conditions  favour.  The  young  plants  in  their 
turn  bear  seeds  which  spring  up  in  the  same  way  ;  and  so 
in  this  manner  they  extend  their  range  inch  by  inch,  and 
slowly  march  over  the  land.  Doubtless  this  has  to  some 
extent  been  the  case  with  the  moorland  species,  but  their 

















Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

special  modes  of  dispersal  have  no  doubt  chiefly  assisted 
in  their  distribution.  We  can  imagine  our  moorland  species 
radiating  from  their  original  homes  to  the  remotest  bounds 
of  their  range.  Necessarily,  a  long  time  will  be  required 
for  this  dispersal,  and  roughly  speaking,  the  wider  the  range 
the  older  the  species  ;  for  only  after  the  lapse  of  long  periods 
could  widely-ranging  forms  spread  over  extensive  areas, 
and  pass  from  one  continent  to  another,  in  many  cases  by 
land  connections  which  have  long  been  submerged.  Where 
the  range  of  a  species  is  broken  or  discontinuous,  its  anti- 
quity must  also  be  great  ;  but  in  the  present  enquiry  we  are 
not  concerned  with  such  forms,  all  the  moorland  plants  we 
shall  treat  of  possessing  continuous  ranges. 

Besides  the  distribution  of  any  particular  species  we  must 
also  consider  that  of  its  allies,  those  of  the  same  genus  ;  and 
since  all  the  species  of  a  genus  have  descended  from 
some  proximate  or  remoter  ancestor,  it  has  been  argued 
that  wherever  we  find  the  species  of  a  genus  most  numerously 
— in  other  words,  the  headquarters  of  the  group — such  areas 
must  be  regarded  as  a  centre  of  origin  from  which  the  various 
forms  have  radiated.  Though  this  concentration  of  closely- 
allied  species  in  definite  centres  is  an  obvious  corollary  of 
the  evolution  theory,  it  cannot  be  accepted  without  quali- 
fications which,  however,  do  not  concern  us  in  this  place 
and  will  be  treated  more  fully  in  the  zoological  section  of 
this  work. 

We  must  now  apply  these  principles  to  the  moorland 
plants,  taking  first  those  which  exhibit  the  widest  range  as 
follows : — 

Bilberry  (V.  myrtillus). — Throughout  the  Continent ;  on 
mountain  ranges  in  south  Europe,  Siberia,  Dahuria, 
west  Asia,  and  north-west  America  (Fig.  33). 
Cowberry  (V.  vitis-idcea) . — Throughout  Europe  ;  on 
mountain  ranges  in  the  south  ;  north  Asia  from 
Siberia  to  Kamschatka,  east  and  west  North  America, 


The  Origin  of  the  Moorland  Flora 

Crowberry  (E.  nigrum). — Throughout  the  temperate  and 
Arctic  northern  hemisphere. 

Cotton  Grass  (E.  vaginatum). — Throughout  Europe, 
except  Turkey  ;  on  mountains  in  south  Europe, 
Siberia,  west  Asia,  north-west  Thibet,  North  America 

(Fig.  35). 
Cotton  Grass  (E.  angustifolium). — Similar  range  to  its 

ally  but  also  found  in  Greenland  (Fig.  35). 

Turning  to  the  Heather  and  Heaths,  we  find  they  possess 

the  following  distributions  : — 

Fig.  34. — Map  showing  the  Distribution  of  Heather  (Calluna  iul°«ris). 

Heather  (C.  vulgaris). — Throughout  Europe,  west 
Siberia,  the  Azores,  Greenland,  Newfoundland, 
north  United  States  (very  rare).     (Fig.  34). 

Purple  Bell  Heath  (E.  cinerea).—  Norway  to  Spain,  and 
eastwards  to  Germany  and  north  Italy. 

Pink  Bell  Heath  {E.  tetralix).— North  and  west  Europe  ; 
strictly  western  in  south  Europe,  Sweden  ;  east- 
wards to  Russia  and  Transylvania,  Courland  and 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

If  it  be  correct  that  the  older  species  have  wider  ranges, 
it  follows  from  these  facts  that  the  Bilberry  and  its  allies, 
the  Crowberry  and  the  Cotton  Sedges,  are  of  more  ancient 
origin  than  either  of  the  two  Heaths  or  even  of  the  Heather. 
The  latter  plant,  despite  its  wide  range,  appears  to  have 
been  introduced  into  the  New  World  where  it  is  extremely 
rare.  Nevertheless,  its  distribution — considerably  greater 
than  that  of  the  two  Heaths — indicates  an  origin  nearly  as 
ancient  as  that  of  the  Bilberry  and  Cotton  Sedge  groups. 
Another  fact  clearly  brought  out  by  this  comparison  of 
range  is  that  the  most  widely-spread  forms  are  more  or  less 
northern  and  Arctic,  whereas  the  less  widely-spiead  .pedes 
are  more  or  less  western  and  southern  in  their  distribution, 
and  if  not  restricted  to  Europe,  there  attain  their  most 
vigorous  development. 

The  decidedly  northern  distribution  of  Vaccinium,  Erio- 
fthorum,  and  Empetrum,  combined  with  the  dominance  of 
other  species  belonging  to  the  same  genera  in  the  Old  and 
New  Worlds,  leads  to  the  conclusion  that  these  familiar 
ericetal  plants  originated  in  the  far  north  on  a  palaearctic 
land,  perhaps  now  partly  beneath  the  sea.  Already  we 
have  concluded  this  was  probably  during  the  Pliocene  period, 
and  the  supposition  is  confirmed  when  we  remember  that 
a  luxuriant  semi-tropical  vegetation  flourished  in  Greenland 
during  the  early  Miocene.  At  the  same  epoch  the  North 
American  aspect  of  the  Swiss  Miocene  flora  suggests  a  land 
connection  between  Europe  and  that  continent.  Gradually 
as  the  Pliocene  approached,  and  the  climate  became  cooler, 
the  Bilberries  and  Cotton  Sedges  were  evolved  in  adaptation 
to  these  climates,  and  spread  eastwards  and  westwards 
throughout  Europe,  Asia  and  America.  With  the  advent 
of  the  Glacial  Period  they  penetrated  far  southwards  into 
Europe  ;  upon  its  wane  they  entrenched  themselves  on 
inhospitable  mountains  and  peaty  moorlands  where  they 
dominate  to  this  day. 

If  a  comparison  of  the  number  of  widely-ranging  species 


The  Origin  of  the  Moorland  Flora 

with  the  number  of  less  widely-ranging  species  shows  a  pre- 
ponderance of  the  former  this  must  be  clearly  due  not  only 
to  their  greater  age,  but  also  to  their  greater  adaptability 
enabling  them  to  thrive  in  a  variety  of  climates  and  on 
poverty-stricken  lands.  A  glance  at  the  distribution  of 
some  other  moorland  species  establishes  this  view.  Among 
them  we  have  the  following  with  extensive  distributions  : — 

Sundew    (Drosera   rotundifolia). — Europe    (Arctic),    Si- 
beria, west  Asia,  east  and  west  North  America  from 

the  Arctic  Circle  to  Florida. 
Bog  Asphodel  ( Narthecium  ossifragum) . — Europe  north 

of  the  Alps  and  Pyrenees,  north  Asia  and  North 

Club    Rush   (Scirpus  cczspitosa). — Arctic  and    rest  of 

Europe,  Siberia,  temperate  and  cold  North  America. 
Sheep's  Sorrel  (Rumex  acetosella). — North  temperate  and 

Arctic  regions. 
Brown  Bent  (  Agrostis  canina). — Europe  (Arctic),  Siberia, 

west  Asia,  Himalayas,  North  and  South  America, 

Australia  and  New  Zealand. 
Wavy  Hair  Grass  (Air a  flexuosa). — Europe,  west  Siberia, 

west  Asia,  North  America  and  Terra  del  Fuego. 
Sheep's  Fescue  Grass  (Festuca  ovina). — Europe,  north 

Africa,     Siberia,     Himalayas,     North     and     South 

America,  mountains  of  Australia  and  New  Zealand. 
Flying  Bent  (Moliniavaria). — Europe,  Siberia,  west  Asia, 

north  Africa. 
Heath  Rush  (J uncus  squarrosus). — Europe  to  Siberia  and 


A  further  fact  concerning  these  widely  distributed  forms 
is  that  they  inhabit  both  the  Old  and  New  Worlds.  Not 
only  does  this  afford  further  proof  of  their  greater  age,  but 
it  may  also  indicate  that  a  former  land  bridge  existed  be- 
tween Europe  and  North  America.  That  a  land  bridge 
formerly  linked  Europe  with  Greenland  and  America  cannot, 

161  l 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

I  think,  be  doubted,  when  we  reflect  on  the  numerous 
animals  and  plants  common  to  both  hemispheres.  Recently 
Dr.  R.  F.  Scharff,*  has  collected  all  the  available  evidence 
on  this  matter,  and  when  dealing  with  the  insect  life  of  the 
moors  I  hope  to  be  able  to  adduce  further  facts  in  support 
of  it  (see  page  306). 

The  wide  distribution  of  the  Heather  gives  it  a  claim  to 
some  antiquity,  but  its  centre  of  origin  was  very  different 
from  that  of  the  species  we  have  just  been  discussing.     Its 
close  allies,  the  two  Heaths,   are  essentially  western  and 
south-western  in  their  distribution  ;    and  in  the  south  of 
England  and  in  Ireland,  three  other  species  occur,  viz.  : 
the  Ciliated  Heath  (Erica  ciliaris)  found  in  Cornwall,  Galway 
and  Dorset  ;  the  Cornish  Heath  (E.  vagans)  found  in  Corn- 
wall;    and    the    Mediterranean    Heath    (E.    mediterranea) 
found  in  Mayo  and  Galway.     All  three  are  abundant  in 
the  Mediterranean  region,  the  two  first  never  passing  far 
inland.     E.  ciliaris  lives  round  the  shores  of  Spain,  Portugal 
and  Normandy  ;    E.  vagans  round  the  shores  of  the  Mediter- 
ranean from  Spain  to  Greece  and  Turkey — it  also  inhabits 
Egypt  and  the  west  of  France.     E.  mediterranea  or  carnea 
also  flourishes  in  the  west  of  France,  along  the  Mediterranean 
shores  and  in  Spain  ;    but,  unlike  the  others,  is  scattered 
here  and  there  on  the  central  ranges  of  European  mountains 
from  Switzerland  to  the  Balkans.     In  fact,  the  genus  is 
more  abundant  in  the  Mediterranean  region  than  elsewhere 
on   the   Continent  ;     for,   besides   those   enumerated,   such 
forms  as  Erica  arborea  and  multifiora  live  in  the  same  area. 
No  species  of  Heath  occurs  in  either  North  or  South  America, 
or  in  Asia  ;    the  genus  is  essentially  Atlantic,  being  found 
round  the  shores  of  that  ocean  in  Europe,  and  especially  in 

*  "  On  the  Evidences  of  a  former  Land-bridge  between  Northern 
Europe  and  North  America,"  Proceedings  Royal  Irish  Academy, 
Vol.  XXVIII.,  1909.  The  problem  does  not,  however,  actually  come 
within  the  scope  of  this  work.  I  merely  mention  it  in  passing  as  showing 
what  important  interest  attaches  to  the  distribution  of  moorland 

























Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

South  Africa,  at  the  Cape,  where  it  attains  its  maximum 
development.  Whether  the  Heaths  arose  in  Africa  whence 
they  migrated  into  Europe  is  doubtful ;  it  seems  more  likely 
that  they  originated  far  to  the  west  of  the  present  shores 
of  the  Atlantic,  probably  on  ancient  lands  now  submerged. 
Their  absence  from  the  New  World  seems  to  indicate  a 
later  origin  than  that  of  the  Bilberry  and  Cotton  Grass,  or 
otherwise  they  might  have  availed  themselves  of  the  land 
bridge  across  the  North  Atlantic  referred  to. 

Heather,  too,  must  be  regarded  as  of  similar  origin ; 
but  it  is  a  species  possessing  a  far  wider  range  than  its  allies, 
and  has  become  adapted  to  severer  climates.  Its  essen- 
tially western  distribution — for  it  does  not  pass  further 
eastwards  than  west  Siberia — its  great  rarity  in  North 
America,  and  its  occurrence  in  the  Azores,  are  all  indicative 
of  an  origin  either  in  south-west  Europe,  or  lands  lying  to 
the  south-west  of  Europe,  whence  it  has  spread  north  and 
east.  Probably  it  arose  before  the  North  Atlantic  land 
bridge  was  broken,  which  would  enable  it  to  reach  Greenland 
and  North  America.  Whether  Heather  is  a  modified  des- 
cendant of  Erica,  or  had  a  common  progenitor  with  them, 
would  be  difficult  to  say  ;  but  there  can  be  little  doubt  that 
both  arose  in  the  same  part  of  the  world  towards  the  close 
of  Pliocene  times. 

Although  it  thus  appears  likely  that  the  chief  moorland 
plants  originated  at  about  the  same  geological  period,  it 
by  no  means  follows  that  they  colonised  suitable  habitats 
in  west  Europe  simultaneously.  Their  development  in 
different  regions  precludes  this,  and  if  we  take  the  case  of 
the  Eastern  Moorlands,  it  is  almost  impossible  to  say  which 
species  arrived  first  in  this  district.  Though  erosion  would 
by  then  have  uncovered  much  of  the  moorland  strata,  they 
would  not  cover  so  wide  an  area.  Only  by  degrees  would 
moorlands  develop  as  the  essential  edaphic  and  climatic 
conditions  supervened.  Slow  but  continuous  changes  of 
climate,  the  exposure  by  erosion  of  rocks  poor  in  plant  food,. 


The  Origin  of  the  Moorland  Flora 


and  the  competition  of  rival  species,  would  slowly  lead  to 
the  establishment  of  the  ericetal  flora,  and  different  kinds 
of  moors  would  appear,  though  these  moors  may  have 
differed  considerably  from  the  present. 

The  on-coming  of  the  Ice  Age  would  also  greatly  affect  the 
distribution  of  ericetal  plants  throughout  Europe  ;  though, 
owing  to  their  hardy  character,  they  may  have  been  less 
disturbed  by  this  great  climatic  fluctuation  than  more 
delicate  species,  as  we  shall  see  in  the  next  chapter.  The 
adaptability  of  V actinium,  Eriophorum,  Empetrum,  and 
many  others  to  northern  and  Arctic  climates  suggests  that 
these  species  may  not  have  entered  western  Europe  from 
the  north  until  the  commencement  of  the  Ice  Age.  The 
more  southern  and  western  character  of  Calluna  and  Erica 
suggests  that  these  species  may  have  flourished  in  Pliocene 
times  in  warmer  climates  long  before  the  advent  of  their 
northern  associates  and  competitors. 

The  geological  history  and  geographical  distribution  of 
the  chief  moorland  plants  proves  then,  that  the  moors  were 
formed  in  pre-glacial  times,  probably  towards  the  close  of 
the  Pliocene  period.  To  follow  this  evolution  through 
another  stage  we  must  next  deal  with  one  of  the  most  puzz- 
ling and  interesting  problems  they  present — their  relation 
to  the  Ice  Age.  This  is  such  an  important  aspect  of  their 
history  that  we  must  devote  a  special  chapter  to  it. 




THE  problem  stated  at  the  end  of  the  preceding 
chapter  forms  part  of  a  larger  problem,  viz.  : 
the  relationship  of  the  flora  of  the  British  Is- 
lands to  the  Ice  Age  ;  or,  to  put  it  as  a  question, 
What  were  the  plants  which  inhabited  this  country 
during  the  Ice  Age  ?  It  is  quite  certain  that  no 
species  could  exist  where  the  land  was  covered  by  immense 
ice-sheets  ;  but  we  have  seen  that  a  large  area 
of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  remained  unglaciated,  and  we 
now  have  to  examine  into  the  possibility  of  plants  being 
able  to  live  on  this  area  during  the  period  of  maximum 

Unfortunately  for  the  satisfactory  solution  of  this  prob- 
lem, the  only  conclusive  evidence,  that  of  plant  remains, 
is  wanting,  or  rather  their  occurrence  has  not  yet  been 
investigated  ;  but  the  data  from  other  parts  of  the  country 
prove  that  Arctic  plants,  the  Dwarf  Birch  (Betulanana)  in 
particular,  flourished  even  as  far  south  as  in  the  valley  of 
the  Teign  in  Devonshire.*  That  typical  Arctic  plants 
lived  upon  the  hills  and  in  the  dales  of  the  ice-free  region 
is  highly  probable,  for  we  have  no  reason  to  suppose  that 
the  climate  of  the  Ice  Age  was  ever  more  rigorous  than 
that  of  the  Polar  Regions  ;  and  the  existence  of  glacier- 
lakes  shows  that  the  summer  temperature  was  sufficiently 
high  to  melt  a  considerable  quantity  of  snow  and  ice  which 
would  in  all  probability  accumulate  upon  the  moor  slopes 

*  C.    Reid,    "  Relation  of  the  Present  Plant  Population   of    the 
British  Isles  to  the  Glacial  Period,"  Naturalist,  191 1,  p.  373. 


The  Ice  Age  and  the  Moorland  Flora 


and  summits  during  the  winter.  If  we  accept  the  conclu- 
sions of  Professor  Kendall,  we  exclude  the  presence  of 
permanent  masses  of  snow  and  ice  upon  the  driftless  area, 
for  if  they  had  persisted  there  could  have  been  no  glacier 
lakes.  Doubtless  in  places  there  were  accumulations  ;  but 
in  the  great  southern  dales,  exposed  to  insolation  and  shel- 
tered from  the  north,  such  masses  must  have  melted  in  the 
summer.  The  existence  of  an  abundant  water-supply 
during  the  Ice  Age  we  shall  find  to  be  one  of  the  most 
important  factors  in  determining  plant  survival  upon  the 
Eastern  Moorlands.  That  the  climate  of  the  Glacial  Period 
was  extremely  cold  is  obvious,  and  its  severity  was  almost 
as  much  felt  in  the  south  of  England,  the  English  Channel, 
and  in  the  Scilly  Isles,  as  on  the  bleak  uplands  of  Yorkshire. 
Mr.  Clement  Reid,  who  has  paid  special  attention  to  this 
subject,  states  that  icebergs  from  the  Irish  glaciers  which 
debouched  into  the  Atlantic,  carried  striated  stones  to  the 
Scilly  Isles,  and  that  during  the  Ice  Age  these  genial  islands 
must  have  been  surrounded  by  a  bitterly  cold  ocean.* 
Nevertheless,  despite  the  severity  of  the  Ice  Age,  an  examina- 
tion of  the  Arctic  flora  of  to-day  and  its  adaptations  affords 
some  grounds  for  concluding  that  a  number  of  ericetal, 
together  with  Arctic  plants,  survived  the  Ice  Age  within 
the  driftless  region  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  as  well  as 
in  the  unglaciated  tracts  of  the  south  of  England  and  else- 

Professor  John  Phillips,  in  the  "  Rivers,  Mountains  and 
Sea-Coast  of  Yorkshire,"  was  the  first  to  hint  at  the  possi- 
bility of  a  glacial  survival  in  this  county.  On  page  190  of 
the  second  edition  (1855)  of  that  work,  after  referring  to 
the  presence  of  Scandinavian  plants  in  Teesdale  and  the 
Eastern  Moorlands,  he  says : — "  These  same  elevated  dis- 
tricts are  as  remarkably  deficient  in  land  mollusca  as  are 
the  mountainous  tracts  of  Scandinavia  ;    they  do  not  con- 

»Op.  cit.,  p.  375. 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

tain  all  the  species  of  our  actual  fauna  and  flora,  or  even 
a  large  proportion  of  it,  nor  is  it  conceivable  that  they 
ever  did  contain  them,  so  as  to  be  the  source  from  which 
they  spread  over  the  islands  (after  the  Glacial  Period). 
Therefore,  although  we  admit  that  the  glacial  inundation 
did  not  cover  all  our  land,  and  that  some  species  may  have 
been  saved  from  it  on  the  mountains,  this  does  not  the  less 
render  it  necessary  to  suppose  a  second  migration  for  the 
replenishing  of  the  lower  grounds  with  species  which  cannot 
be  traced  to  those  mountains." 

As  we  saw  in  the  last  chapter,  sufficient  palaeo-botanical 
evidence  has  been  collected  to  demonstrate  the  existence 
of  a  pre-glacial  flora  very  similar  to  the  present  and  probably 
living   under   somewhat   similar   conditions.     The   gradual 
approach  of  the  Ice  Age  is  generally  thought  to  have  led 
to  a  gradual  elimination  of  temperate  species  and  to  an  in- 
crease of  Arctic  species,  until  with  its  culmination,  the  latter 
alone  inhabited  this  country.     We  must  not  suppose  from 
this,  however,  that  the  glacial  flora  consisted  solely  of  a 
very  few  species,  such  as  Betula  nana,  Salix  folaris,  etc., 
for  if  we  examine  the  flora  of  Greenland,  a  country  which  is 
frequently  referred  to  as  affording  an  excellent  picture  of 
what  Britain  was  like  during  the  Ice  Age,  we  find  that  this 
inhospitable   region   possesses   a   comparatively   rich   flora 
considering  the  severity  of  its  climate.     According  to  Warm- 
ing,* 386  species  of  vascular  plants  belonging  to  fifty-three 
families  live  in  Greenland,  and  according  to  the  lists  given 
by    Rink.f   there   are   about    230   species   of   mosses,    270 
lichens,  and  twenty  species  of  fungi.     Again  Spitzbergen, 
according  to  Nathorst,+  has  192  species  belonging  to  twenty- 
four  families.     Now  amongst  these  plants  are  to  be  found 
numerous  kinds,  not  characteristic  in  a  general  sense  of  the 

*  Om  Gronlands  Vegetation.     Quoted  by  Schimper,  "Plant  Geo- 
graphy," p.  683. 

f  Danish  Greenland. 

X  Quoted  by  Schimper,  op.  cit.,  p.  683. 


Photo  by] 

Fig.   }6. — Cheese  Stones,  Baysdai  i  . 

[Frank  Elgee 

[.■[,,.    ■-;.     UoiM.DKn  «.i    Cun    wini   Fossil    Cycad  [Williamsonia  pecteti). 

The  Ice  Age  and  the  Moorland  Flora 

Polar  Zone,  and  most  of  them  live  upon  the  Eastern  Moor- 
lands to-day.  Of  these  Arctic-moorland  species  the  following 
is  a  list  : — 

List  of  Moorland  Plants  inhabiting  Greenland. 

Heather  ( Calluna  vulgaris)            . .  . .  Hooker 

Crowberry  ( Empetrum  nigrum)     . .  . .  Rink 

Cowberry  (Vaccinium  vitis-idcza)  . .  do. 

Bog  Whortleberry    (V.  uliginosum)  . .  do. 

*Cloudberry  (Rubus  chamcemorus)  . .  do. 

Cranberry  (Oxy 'coccus  palustris)    ..  . .  do. 

Bearberry  ( Arctostaphylos  uva-ursi)  . .  do. 

Thyme  ( Thymus  serpyllum)          . .  . .  do. 

Dwarf  Cornel  ( Cornus  suecica)     . .  . .  do. 

Field  Wood  Rush  ( Luzula  multiflora)  . .  do. 

Butterwort  (Pinguicula  vulgaris)  . .  Kerner 

Juniper  (Juniperus  communis)     ..  ..  Rink 

Sheep's  Sorrel  (Rumex  acetosella)  . .  do. 

Heath  Rush  ( J  uncus  squarrosus)  . .  . .  Hooker 

Mat  Grass  ( Nardus  stricta)           . .  . .  do. 

Cotton  Grass  (Eriophorum  angustifolium)  Rink 

Sheep's  Fescue  Grass  (Festuca  ovina)  . .  do. 

Sedge-like  Kobresia  ( Kobresia  caricina) . .  Hooker 

Fir  Club  Moss  ( Lycopodium  selago)  . .  Rink 
Interrupted  Club  Moss  (Lycopodium  anno- 

ticum)      . .          . .          . .          . .  . .  do. 

To  this  list  may  be  added  numerous  species  of  mosses  and 
lichens,  including  such  well-known  moorland  forms  as 
Sphagnum,  Polytrichum,  Reindeer  Lichens  (Cladonia),  etc., 

We  have  over  eighty  species  of  ericetal  plants,  including 
some  of  the  most  abundant,  Ling,  Crowberry,  Cotton  Grass, 
Mat  Grass,  Bog  Moss,  Reindeer  Lichen,  capable  of  with- 
standing an  Arctic  climate  and  growing  side  by  side  with 

*  Not  found  within  the  Eastern  Moorlands,  but  not  unknown  on 
the  Pennines. 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

plants  peculiar  to  Arctic  countries.  If  we  add  the  ability 
of  these  moorland  plants  to  withstand  great  cold  to  the 
fact  that  the  moors  were  unglaciated,  it  is  reasonable  to 
conclude  that  they  lived  in  the  district  throughout  the  Ice 
Age,  especially  in  the  large  sheltered  southern  dales. 

The  capacity  of  the  moorland  plants  to  live  on  peaty 
soils  and  in  the  Arctic  regions  depends  upon  the  circum- 
stance that  both  conditions  are  those  of  physiological  drought 
to  which  the  plants  are  adapted  as  we  saw  in  Chapter  II. 
"  A  frozen  soil,"  says  Schimper,*  "  is  quite  dry  to  all  plants, 
one  at  a  temperature  slightly  above  freezing-point  is  nearly 
dry  to  most  plant.  "  ;  and  as  the  peaty  water  of  moorlands 
is  absorbed  with  difficulty,  we  understand  how  it  comes 
about  that  the  ericetal  species  mentioned  in  the  foregoing 
lists  are  able  to  flourish  not  only  in  the  Arctic  regions, 
but  many  of  them  also  on  dry  sand  where  the  physical  and 
the  physiological  drought  coincide.  Schimper  also  adds, 
"  Warming  was  justified  in  comparing  the  vegetation  of 
Greenland  with  that  of  the  Sahara  .  .  .  Here  different 
external  factors  are  physiologically  equivalent,  and  have 
accordingly  evoked  similar  adaptations."  -j-  Hence  many 
of  the  moorland  species  would  be  able  to  exist  on  the  drift- 
less  area  throughout  the  Ice  Age  on  account  of  their  adapta- 
tions. The  frozen  condition  of  the  ground  would  render 
the  absorption  of  water  difficult  except  during  the  summer. 
By  their  structures  also  the  plants  would  readily  adjust 
themselves  to  the  on-coming  of  the  Ice  Age  and  to  its  climax. 
As  previously  mentioned,  water  must  have  been  abundant 
on  the  Eastern  Moorlands  at  this  period  or  otherwise  glacier- 
lakes  could  not  have  existed,  a  further  argument  in  support 
of  the  survival  theory,  for  if  the  water  or  ground  had  re- 
mained frozen  all  the  year  round  plant  life  would  have 
been  absolutely  impossible.  Another  fact  that  has  been 
brought  to  light  by  researches  into  the  ecological  botany 

*  Schimper,  "  Plant  Geography,"  p.  4. 
|  Op.  cit.,  p.  679. 


nolo  by)  Fig.  38. — Coal  Pit  Heap,   Rosedale  Head.  [Frank  Elgee. 

Photoby]  Fig.    ■,'!.     Boulders  of  Fossiliferoi      Grit, 

Cam  leton. 

Frank  1 

The  Ice  Age  and  the  Moorland  Flora 

of  the  Arctic  regions  is,  that  no  known  adaptations  exist 
against  great  cold  in  Arctic  plants,  the  structures  of  which 
are  in  relation  to  the  shortness  of  the  summer,  dry  winter 
winds,  low  temperature  of  the  soil  and  air  in  summer,  etc.* 

If  it  be  urged  that  the  climate  of  the  driftless  area  would 
be  too  severe  for  these  plants  and  that  denudation  and 
snowfall  would  be  so  great  that  they  could  not  flourish,  the 
following  remarks  by  Rink  show  that  such  circumstances 
need  not  necessarily  prevent  the  plants  from  existing  : — 

"  Temporary  glaciers  or  accumulations  of  snow  partly 
converted  into  solid  ice  and  lasting  for  periods  of  a  couple 
of  years  or  more  are  frequently  met  with  in  Greenland.  It 
may  be  mentioned  that  such  a  temporary  glacier  has  been 
forming  for  several  years  only  a  few  hundred  feet  from  the 
European  houses  of  Godthaab.  In  some  years  the  snow 
is  melted  by  the  end  of  July  ;  but  sometimes  the  warmth 
of  the  summer  does  not  suffice  to  dissipate  it.  Not  much 
more  than  a  hundred  feet  from  this  spot  the  trader  of  the 
station  has  a  small  garden  before  his  windows  where  at  any- 
rate  radishes  and  turnips  are  annually  reared.  ...  As 
the  most  striking  contrast  to  these  instances  of  perpetual 
snow  in  the  lower  regions  must  be  mentioned  the  extra- 
ordinary height  to  which  vegetation  extends  on  the  north 
side  of  a  mountain  chain  bordering  the  Umansk-fjord.  The 
author  ascended  it  from  Karsok  Point  in  about  71  deg. 
40  min.  N.  lat.  on  July  30th,  1851,  during  a  cold  and  un- 
pleasant summer.  A  nearly  uniform  slope,  only  interrupted 
by  a  few  terrace-shaped  edges,  leads  from  this  point  to  a 
height  of  5000  feet  in  a  distance  of  five  miles.  The  fore- 
land consisted  of  low  rocky  hills  alternating  with  fresh  green 
meadow-like  glens  exhibiting  the  usual  shrubs  such  as  the 
willow,  crowberry  and  andromeda.  ...  At  a  height 
of  2000  to  3000  feet  the  vegetable  covering  seemed  decidedly 
thinner,  the  grasses  and  cyperaceae  which  form  the  chief 

*  Schimpcr,  op.  cit.,  p.  671. 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

part  of  the  sod  disappear  and  are  succeeded  by  mosses. 
At  a  height  of  3000  feet  the  same  mosses  still  entirely  cover 
small  boggy  places  adorned  with  blooming  buttercups."* 
Many  other  facts  from  the  same  work  might  also  be  quoted 
showing  that  even  close  to  glaciers  the  flora  is  by  no  means 
scanty,  and  that  there  is  little  difference  in  the  vegetation 
between  60  deg.  and  70  deg.  N.  lat.,  so  that  even  if  the 
driftless  area  was  extremely  uncongenial  it  may  still  have 
supported  many  species. 

From  this  point  of  view  we  are  glad  to  have  the  following 
remarks  from  the  pen  of  Mr.  G.  W.  Lamplough,  F.R.S., 
the  well-known  glacialist.  Speaking  of  the  glacial  geology 
of  Spitzbergen,  he  says,  "  In  this  latitude  the  flora  and  fauna 
inhabiting  the  land  are  of  the  scanty  Arctic  type  ;  but  under 
similar  circumstances  at  lower  latitudes,  as  for  example, 
in  Alaska  and  Patagonia,  a  dense  covering  of  vegetation  is 
found  close  up  to  the  ice-margins.  It  is  likely  that  through- 
out the  glacial  period  any  part  of  our  islands  that  was  per- 
manently, or  even  temporarily,  bare  of  ice  would  be  tenanted 
by  plants  and  animals  in  a  similar  manner.  There  is  much 
probability  that  the  Pleistocene  fauna  of  Britain  was  adapted 
to  such  conditions,  and  was  in  part  contemporaneous  with 
the  waxing  and  waning  ice-sheets."  f 

Hitherto  we  have  confined  ourselves  to  ericetal  plants 
and  their  glacial  survival ;  but  many  other  British  species, 
exclusive  of  genuine  relics  of  the  Ice  Age,  also  thrive  in 
Greenland.  Among  such  forms  the  following  may  be  noted 
on  the  authority  of  Rink  : — 

Common  Horsetail  (Equisetum  arvense). 
Wood  Horsetail  {Equisetum  sylvaticum). 
Beech  Polypody  {Poly  podium  phlegopteris). 
Meadow  Poa  {Poa  pratensis). 
Sea  Lyme  Grass  (Elymus  arenarius). 

*  "  Danish  Greenland,"  pp.  65-7. 

j-  Proceedings  of  the  Yorks.  Geol.  Soc,  191 1,  p.  240. 


The  Ice  Age  and  the  Moorland  Flora 

Sorrel  Dock  [Rutnex  acetosa). 

Mountain  Cat's  Ear  ( Antennaria  dioica). 

Dandelion  {Taraxacum  palustre). 

Buttercup  {Ranunculus  acris). 

Scurvy  Grass  {Cochlearia  officinalis). 

Willow  Epilobe  {Epilobium  angustifolium) . 

Lady's  Mantle  { Alchemilla  vulgaris). 

Silver  Weed  {Potentilla  anserina). 

Dog  Violet  {Viola  canina). 

Marsh  Violet  {Viola  palustris). 

Stone  Rubus  {Rubus  saxatilis). 

Tufted  Vetch  {Viccia  cracca). 

Marsh  Pea  {Lathyrus  palustris). 

These  species  may  be  considered  as  of  even  greater  im- 
portance than  the  true  ericetal  species,  since  they  indicate 
that  temperate  plants  may  have  become  adapted  to,  and 
survived  the  rigorous  climatic  conditions  of  the  Ice  Age 
on  the  driftless  area.  To  the  list  numerous  cryptogamic 
plants  could  have  been  added,  as  well  as  species  living  in 
the  icy  climate  of  Siberia  and  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Alpine 
glaciers.  Without  adducing  any  further  evidence,  that 
given  affords  strong  reasons  for  thinking  the  driftless  area 
of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  supported  some  type  of  plant 
community  during  the  Ice  Age.  That  this  flora  consisted 
essentially  of  Arctic  species  cannot  be  doubted,  but  inter- 
mingled with  them  were  many  of  the  most  dominant  ericetal 
species,  and  probably  species  represented  in  the  last  list. 
The  genus  Erica  does  not  seem  to  have  survived  in  this 
district  from  pre-glacial  times ;  its  distribution  is  much 
too  southern  to  suggest  such  a  history. 

We  cannot  say  for  certain  what  types  of  vegetation 
existed  within  the  driftless  area  during  the  Ice  Age  ;  perhaps 
a  vegetation  resembling  that  of  Greenland,  which,  according 
to  Warming,  contains  a  heath  formation  consisting  of  ever- 
green shrubs,  including  the  ever  abundant  Crowberry  {E. 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

-nigrum),  mosses  and  lichens.  The  Crowberry  is  one  of  the 
most  characteristic  plants  of  Greenland  where  it  forms  a 
kind  of  heath  interspersed  with  other  Arctic  plants.  With 
the  Reindeer  Lichen,  Hair  Moss,  etc.,  it  is  a  prominent  element 
in  the  flora  of  the  European  and  Asiatic  tundra,  and  has 
unquestionably  lived  on  the  Eastern  Moorlands  since  pre- 
glacial  times. 

As  the  Ice  Age  waned,  the  climatic  conditions  would 
begin  to  favour  the  ericetal  plants  intermingled  with  the 
Arctic  vegetation  until,  ultimately  most  of  the  latter  became 
extinct ;  and  on  the  driftless  area  some  moors  would 
undoubtedly  develop  from  the  glacial  plant  communities, 
though  where  these  were  situated  it  is  impossible  to  say. 
This  development  can  only  be  surmised.  If  we  follow  Neh- 
ring,  a  tundral  vegetation  was  dominant  over  Europe 
towards  the  close  or  shortly  after  the  Ice  Age.*  The  tundra 
moor  consists  of  scanty  peat  with  thin  layers  of  Bog  Moss 
and  a  few  small  flowering  plants.  Heather-clad  moorland, 
peat  moss  vegetation,  tundra,  and  Arctic  associations  are 
closely  related.  Not  only  have  they  many  plants  in  com- 
mon, but  they  owe  this  to  their  adaptations  to  physiological 
drought,  one  of  the  primary  conditions  of  their  existence. 

The  rarity  of  Arctic  and  high  northern  plants  is  now  a 
remarkable  feature  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands.  No  doubt 
this  is  primarily  due  to  the  insufficient  elevation  and  to  the 
over-powering  competition  of  the  temperate  heath  vegeta- 
tion ;  but  there  are  facts  in  regard  to  the  distribution  of 
the  Arctic  plants  which  do  survive  that  appear  to  negative 
this  explanation. 

Previously  we  have  referred  to  the  south-east  distribution 
of  Sweet  Gale  ;  but  if  we  draw  another  line  parallel  to  its 
boundary,  from  Silpho  Moor  to  Cawthorn,  we  find  that  in 
the  moorland  region  thus  defined,  the  rarest  Arctic  species 
of  the  uplands  occur.     These  are  : — 

*  Tundra  und  Steppen,  der  Jetzt  und  Vorzeit. 

The  Ice  Age  and  the  Moorland  Flora 

Dwarf  Cornel  (Comas  saecica). 
Bearberry  ( Arctostaphylos  uva-ursi). 
Few  Flowered  Sedge  (Car ex  pauciflora). 
Linnaea  (Linnaea  borealis). 

Rare  ericetal  plants  found  in  the  same  region  are  : — 

Round  Leaved  Wintergreen  (Pyrola  rotiindifolia). 
Alpine  Pearlwort  (Sagina  subalata). 

The  Dwarf  Cornel  or  Dogwood  has,  as  is  well-known  to 
botanists,  its  sole  English  habitat  on  the  north  Yorkshire 
moors,  and  was  formerly  thought  to  be  confined  to  the  Hole 
of  Horcum.  In  a  paper  in  "The  Naturalist"  for  1907, 
Mr.  Harold  J.  Burkill,  M.A.,  F.R.G.S.,  points  out,  however, 
that  this  is  not  correct,  the  species  according  to  him  being 
especially  numerous  between  the  Hole  of  Horcum  and 
Goathland  where  it  flourishes  amongst  the  Heather.  Other 
localities  for  the  species  are  Cross  Cliff  Banks,  Staindale, 
and  Troutsdale,  all  in  the  extreme  south-eastern  angle  of 
the  moors.  Significant  is  Mr.  Burkill's  remark  that  he  could 
not  discover  the  species  on  the  moors  near  Hawnby,  for  this 
circumstance  tends  to  prove  that  these  rare  forms  are 
actually  restricted  to  the  corner  in  question. 

Out  of  England  the  Dwarf  Cornel  is  found  in  the  Cheviots 
and  Scotland  ;  it  is  of  frequent  occurrence  in  northern  and 
Arctic  Europe  and  Asia,  and  extends  to  east  and  west 
North  America. 

The  next  plant  on  the  list  is  the  Bearberry,  a  member  of 
the  Ericaceae,  belonging  to  a  genus  which  has  its  maximum 
development  in  north  temperate  America.  According  to 
Mr.  Baker  the  Bearberry  grows  abundantly  amongst  the 
Heather  on  the  moors  between  Levisham  and  Cawthorn,  its 
only  habitat  on  the  eastern  side  of  Yorkshire,  though  it  is 
not  infrequent  on  the  Pennines.*  It  is  essentially  an  Arctic 
plant ;    Greenland,  Arctic  and  Alpine  Europe,  Siberia,  and 

*  North  Yorkshire,  its  Botany,  Geology  and  Climatology. 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

North  America  being  its  chief  homes.  In  this  country  it 
does  not  extend  further  south  than  Yorkshire  ;  but  it  has 
been  recorded  from  the  north-west  of  Ireland. 

Carex  pauciflora,  according  to  Mr.  Baker,  has  not  been 
seen  recently  ;  but  when  formerly  found,  occurred  in  boggy 
places  between  Whitby  and  Pickering.  This  is  the  only 
Yorkshire  locality  for  this  well-known  Arctic  plant.  Lin- 
ncea  is  another  Arctic  species  only  recorded  for  Yorkshire 
from  Silpho  Moor,  whilst  Pyrola  rotundifolia  and  Sagina 
subulata  are  both  ericetal  species  found  on  Hutton  Bushel 
Moor,  though  the  former  grows  in  Halnaby  Carr  near  Croft. 

If  these  species  are  indeed  the  relics  of  the  former  Arctic 
vegetation  of  the  uplands  it  seems  surprising  that  they 
have  not  survived  on  the  higher  and  colder  parts  of  the  moors. 
Why  they  should  have  struggled  on  where  they  are  found 
is  a  fact  of  plant  distribution  difficult  to  understand.  It 
has  been  suggested  that  they  were  conveyed  to  their  present 
homes  as  seeds  on  ice-borne  boulders  from  the  north  or  from 
the  Continent  ;  but  that  they  should  all  happen  to  be  found 
together  does  not  render  this  explanation  very  feasible, 
and  moreover  some  of  them  now  exist  at  a  considerable 
distance  from  the  limits  of  glaciation.  Another  reason  for 
their  occurrence  may  be  found  in  the  suggestion  that  they 
are  the  relics  of  a  post-glacial  land  connection  with  the 
Continent.  Most  of  the  British  flora  and  fauna  have  entered 
the  country  in  post-glacial  times  from  the  Continent,  and 
the  formation  of  the  North  Sea  is  held  to  account  for  the 
absence  of  many  species  abundant  in  Europe.  When  the 
separation  took  place  some  species  may  have  just  reached 
what  is  now  the  eastern  side  of  England,  and  being  limited 
in  numbers  or  kept  down  by  more  powerful  competitors, 
have  just  managed  to  hold  their  own  in  isolated  localities. 
That  this  may  be  the  true  explanation  of  the  occurrence 
of  the  Dwarf  Cornel,  the  Bearberry,  the  Carex,  and 
Linnaea,  is  supported  by  the  fact  of  their  abundance  on  the 
Continent.     The  Bearberry  forms  extensive  moors  in  north 











The  Ice  Age  and  the  Moorland  Flora 

Germany,  and  may  have  traversed  the  site  of  the  North  Sea 
in  post-glacial  times,  and  entered  East  Yorkshire,  where 
it  has  probably  been  unable  to  spread  owing  to  the  sunless 
climate,  a  powerful  factor  in  British  plant  distribution. 
For  be  it  noted  that  this  south-eastern  corner  of  the  eastern 
moorlands  is  much  more  genial  in  its  climate  than  the  high 
moors  of  the  watershed,  and  doubtless  a  careful  investiga- 
tion of  the  ecological  botany  will  throw  light  upon  the 
occurrence  of  the  plants.  The  Arctic  species  must  have 
undoubtedly  formed  a  part  of  the  plant  life  of  the  driftless 
area  during  the  Ice  Age,  and  their  present  restriction  may 
simply  be  due  to  the  complex  results  of  competition. 

There  remain  two  plants,  the  history  of  which  we  have  not 
yet  considered,  but  which  cannot  be  omitted  in  any  account 
of  heath  vegetation — the  Bracken  and  the  Sweet  Gale. 

The  Bracken  fern  at  the  present  day  is  found  over  an 
extensive  area  of  the  earth's  surface,  including  all  the  tem- 
perate zone  and  many  tropical  regions.  Fossil  species  of 
Bracken  date  back  to  the  Bagshot  beds  of  Eocene  age  in  the 
south  of  England  where  Pteris  eoccenica  and  Bournensis 
have  been  found.  In  the  late  Miocene  a  species,  Pteris 
oeningensis,  is  considered  to  be  the  fore-runner  of  our 
familiar  fern  which  would  thus  appear  to  have  arisen  in 
the  Pliocene  period.*  Since  the  time  when  this  genus 
is  first  known  to  appear  in  geological  formations  it  has 
had  ample  opportunity  to  spread  over  the  whole  earth. 
Its  history  so  far  as  this  district  is  concerned  may  have 
been  somewhat  as  follows. 

Entering  the  district  in  pre-glacial  times  it  was  probably 
driven  out  during  the  Ice  Age,  but  from  the  circumstance 
of  its  occurring  in  Arctic  Europe,  it  may  have  survived 
within  the  driftless  area,  though  considering  the  dependence 
of  the  species  upon  woods  I  do  not  think  this  at  all  likely. 
With  the  decline  of  the  Ice  Age,  it  re-entered  the  district 

*  "  British  Eocene  Flora,"  Pal.  Soc,  1882,  p.  34,  57,  62. 

177  M 

Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

with  the  Oak  and  Birch  woods,  and  rapidly  dominated  the 
moorland  slopes. 

Sweet  Gale  whose  genus,  as  previously  mentioned,  dates 
back  to  the  Eocene  period,  has  a  similar  history.  It  perhaps 
stands  by  itself,  so  far  as  ericetal  plants  are  concerned,  as 
a  relic  of  a  Miocene  North  American  immigration  into 
Europe.  According  to  Dr.  Schulz,  this  species  came  from 
America  by  an  ancient  land  connection  between  that  conti- 
nent and  Europe  ;  a  conclusion  which  he  arrives  at  from  the 
fact  that  its  middle  European  distribution  possesses  a  south- 
easterly boundary,  and  that  it  is  indigenous  to  north-east 
Asia.*  During  the  Ice  Age  it  was  probably  exterminated 
in  this  district ;  but,  from  its  occurrence  in  the  cold  regions 
of  north-east  Asia,  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  it  also  may 
have  survived  the  Ice  Age  upon  the  unglaciated  region. 
If  it  did  not,  then  it  re-entered  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  in 
post-glacial  times. 

The  glacial  history  of  the  moorland  plants  is  further 
complicated  by  the  problem  of  inter-glacial  periods.  Very 
divergent  views  are  entertained  on  this  vexed  question  :  at 
the  one  extreme  we  have  Professor  James  Geikie  with  six 
European  glacial  and  five  inter-glacial  periods  ;  Mr.  Clement 
Reid  holds  an  intermediate  position  and  contends  for  one 
glacial  period  with  a  temperate  interval  followed  by  a  dry 
cold  climate,  of  which,  however,  there  are  only  slight  indi- 
cations in  Britain  ;  whilst  at  the  other  extreme  is  Mr. 
Lamplough  who  denies  the  existence  of  any  inter-glacial 
periods  whatsoever.  When  three  such  eminent  glacialists 
offer  such  widely  different  opinions,  it  will  be  needless  for 
us  to  do  more  than  allude  to  the  local  aspect  of  the  question. 
No  evidences  of  inter-glacial  deposits  have  been  observed 
in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire.  True  it  is  there  are  two  boulder 
clays,  but  these  can  be  explained  by  the  presence  of  the 
Teesdale  and  Cheviot  glaciers  successively  occupying  the 
low  grounds  during  one  continuous  Ice  Age.  With  the 
*  Quoted  by  Dr.  Scharff  in  his  "  European  Animals,"  p.  192. 


The  Ice  Age  and  the  Moorland  Flora 

amelioration  of  the  climate  these  would  retreat  into  their 
valleys  ;  though  minor  fluctuations  of  climate  might  cause 
them  to  radiate  on  to  the  plains  again,  but  perhaps  not  far 
enough  to  affect  the  Cleveland  area.  That  such  fluctuations 
in  the  disappearance  of  the  glaciers  occurred  cannot  be 
doubted,  but  only  in  the  vicinity  of  the  mountain  valleys 
of  England  and  Scotland  can  their  occurrence  be  definitely 
established.  The  moorland  flora  would,  therefore,  be  more 
or  less  affected  by  the  recrudescence  of  colder  intervals  ; 
and  if  the  uplands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  were  sur- 
rounded by  ice  sheets  not  once  only,  but  two  or  three  times, 
the  vegetation  must  have  been  influenced  in  a  corresponding 
degree ;  but  no  local  evidence  is  yet  forthcoming  to  show 
that  these  changes  have  taken  place. 

In  yet  another  way  has  the  Ice  Age  made  itself  felt  upon 
the  moors.  The  coincidence  of  the  drift  boundary  with 
the  moor  edge  has  already  been  referred  to,  and  in  the  north 
and  east  the  limits  of  glaciation  have  undoubtedly  deter- 
mined the  extension  of  the  moors  in  those  directions.  On 
the  Lockwood  Hills,  on  the  North  Cleveland  watershed, 
and  particularly  near  Robin  Hood's  Bay,  Staintondale  and 
Cloughton,  cultivation  practically  coincides  with  patches 
of  glacial  sand  and  gravel,  or  extends  up  to  the  drift  edge 
which  is  also  the  moor  edge.  On  Hardhurst  Moor,  west  of 
Hayburn  Wyke,  small  enclosures  with  oats  are  to  be  seen 
completely  surrounded  by  Heather,  and  they  usually  exist 
upon  drift  deposits. 

The  drift  consisting  of  more  heterogeneous  materials 
produces,  on  the  whole,  better  soils  than  occur  on  the  higher 
moors,  and  consequently  they  are  more  amenable  to  re- 
clamation. Hence  to  a  certain  extent  the  coincidence  of 
the  moorlands  boundary  with  the  line  of  glaciation  is  artificial 
for  moors  flourish  and  have  flourished  in  the  past  on  such 
deposits.  Wapley,  Roxby  and  Easington  Moors  occur  on 
sand  and  gravel,  with  a  tendency  for  the  Flying  Bent  {Molinia 
varia)  to  be  abundant,  a  feature  to  be  seen  on  other  glaciated 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

moors  ;  but  it  is  not  necessarily  peculiar  to  them.  In  the 
lowlands  of  Cleveland,  the  word  "  moor "  is  frequently 
met  with  as  a  place-name  for  highly-cultivated  land.  In 
the  neighbourhood  of  Stokesley  we  find  Seamer  Moor. 
That  this  marks  the  site  of  formerly  heather-clad  land  is  very 
probable,  for  apart  from  the  existence  of  lowland  moors  in 
the  Vale  of  York,  there  is  the  additional  fact  that  it  existed 
on  a  large  spread  of  glacial  sand. 

The  late  Rev.  E.  Maule  Cole  has  pointed  out  that  for  a 
distance  of  about  twelve  miles  on  either  side  of  the  Vale  of 
York,  thirty  moors  lie  to  the  north  of  the  great  moraines 
at  Escrick,  and  only  four  to  the  south.  The  reason  for  this 
very  partial  distribution  he  ascribes  to  the  thinner  sandy 
drifts  of  the  north  as  compared  with  the  argillaceous  and 
boulder  clay  drifts  of  the  south.*  In  the  western  and 
southern  regions,  however,  the  moorland  boundary  is  not 
determined  by  the  glacial  deposits,  but  is  due  to  causes 
to  be  considered  later. 

Having  now  surveyed  the  botanical  aspects  both  past 
and  present  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands  we  may  sum  up  the 
history  of  the  ericetal  flora  in  the  following  stages  : — 

I. — Evolution  of  Bilberry,  Cowberry,  Cotton  Grass,  Crow- 
berry,  etc.,  in  a  northern  land  in  Pliocene  times,  and  a  gradual 
dispersal  of  these  species  southwards  with  the  approach  of 
the  Ice  Age. 

2. — Origin  of  Heather  and  Heath  in  south-western  Europe 
and  their  dispersal  north  and  east  during  the  Pliocene  period. 

3. — The  advent  of  the  Ice  Age  with  a  survival  of  most 
of  the  northern  species  on  the  driftless  area  ;  but  the  two 
Heaths,  the  Sweet  Gale  and  Bracken  were  probably 
driven  from   the   district. 

4. — Post-glacial  re-entrance  of  the  two  Heaths,  Sweet 
Gale  and  Bracken  ;   development  of  moors  from  the  Arctic 

*  The  Distribution  of  Moorlands  in  the  East  of  Yorkshire  as  ex- 
plained by  the  Glacial  History  of  the  County,  "  Proceedings  of  the 
Yorks.  Geol.  Soc,"  Vol.  XIII.,  p.  400. 


The  Ice  Age  and  the  Moorland  Flora 

plant  communities  of  the  uplands  and  upon  the  bare  ground. 

5. — A  warmer  and  drier  climate  with  a  decline  of  wet 
moors  and  the  growth  of  trees  in  the  slacks,  gills,  dales 
and  on  slopes  and  parts  of  the  higher  moors. 

6. — An  increased  rainfall  with  an  acceleration  of  moor 
formation,  and  a  destruction  of  the  Birch  and  Oak  woods  in 
the  slacks  and  gills  by  the  development  of  peat  bogs. 

7. — The  present  moors,  where  peat  formation  and  des- 
truction counterbalance  one  another. 

Doubtless  further  researches  will  result  in  the  discovery  of 
other  stages ;  but  those  we  have  enumerated  are  not  separable 
by  any  hard  and  fast  line.  If  the  evolution  of  the  moorland 
flora  could  have  been  witnessed  the  process  would  have 
appeared  a  very  gradual  one,  and  only  after  long  periods 
would  any  appreciable  difference  in  the  status  of  the  moors 
be  detected. 



IN  preceding  chapters  frequent  reference  has  been 
made  to  the  moorland  rocks  and  their  influence  upon 
the  vegetation.  As  poor  siliceous  soils  are  a  sine 
qua  non  in  determining  the  existence  of  heather- 
clad  land,  it  will  at  once  be  perceived  that  unless  the 
strata  had  been  of  a  suitable  nature  the  wide  moors  could 
never  have  been  evolved.  Accordingly  we  propose  to  give 
an  account  of  the  geology  of  the  district,  beginning  in  the 
present  chapter  with  a  description  of  the  rocks  and  their 
mode  of  origin,  to  be  followed  by  a  discussion  on  the  forma- 
tion of  the  principal  scenic  features  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands. 
Just  as  Heather  is  typical  of  the  plant  life  of  the  moors, 
so  is  the  grey  sandstone  boulder  encrusted  with  lichens 
typical  of  their  geology.  Sometimes  buried  in  the  peat 
of  the  fat  moor,  at  other  times  scattered  throughout 
the  vegetation,  and  in  a  few  localities  occurring  in  profu- 
sion, these  boulders  have  had  a  surprising  history,  and  tell 
us  very  clearly  of  the  geographical  changes  which  the  site 
of  the  moors  has  undergone.  They  carry  the  origin  of  the 
moors  back  to  a  remote  period  when  not  even  the  slightest 
indication  of  the  present  vegetation  existed,  and  when  great 
forests  of  conifers  and  cycads  flourished  on  the  shores  of 
an  estuary  and  sea  in  which  the  rocks  were  formed. 

The  gritstones  differ  much  in  character  according  to  the 
rocks  from  which  they  have  become  detached,  and  vary  in 
size  from  a  mere  pebble  up  to  huge  blocks  as  large  as  a  house 
(see  Figs.  23,  36,  37,  39,  and  44).  In  fact  a  complete  gradation 
can  be  traced  from  the  grain  of  sand  to  the  outliers  of  Free- 
borough  Hill  (Fig.  57)  or  Blakey  Topping  (Fig.  47).  Many 
of  the  boulders  form  picturesque  groups  that  are  sufficiently 


Moorland  Rocks 

distinctive  to  have  received  local  names  ;  and  occasionally 
large  masses  occur  which  are  of  special  interest  owing  to 
their  peculiar  form  or  mode  of  origin.  As  an  instance  we 
may  take  the  Cheese  Stones  situated  on  the  moorland  spur 
dividing  the  head  waters  of  Baysdale  (Fig.  36). 

These  irregularly  shaped  stones  have  upon  their  upper 
surfaces  deep  cavities  somewhat  resembling  fonts,  one  of 
which  can  be  seen  in  the  illustration.  The  largest  are  from 
two  to  three  feet  in  diameter,  the  smallest  a  mere  depression 
in  the  rock.  We  may  term  them  atmospheric  pot-holes, 
for  they  precisely  resemble  pot-holes  in  the  beds  of  rivers, 
but  are  undoubtedly  due  to  the  action  of  the  atmosphere. 
Shallow  hollows  become  filled  with  rain,  and  the  wind  drives 
the  water  together  with  small  fragments  of  rock  against  the 
sides  of  the  depressions,  and  in  dry  weather  the  gritty 
particles  triturate  the  sides.  An  irregular  wearing  process 
is  thus  initiated  which,  in  time,  erodes  the  basins  more  and 
more  deeply  until  large  cavities  are  produced. 

Singularly  enough  such  fonts  are  of  rare  occurrence  on 
the  moors.  Boulders  can  be  observed  with  fairly  deep 
hollows  ;  but  hitherto  no  pot-holes  in  size  equal  to  those 
of  the  Cheese  Stones  have  been  noticed  elsewhere.  The 
more  usual  forms  of  erosion  are  channels  or  grooves  along 
the  lines  of  bedding,  well-illustrated  in  the  Raven  Stones 
above  Wheeldale  Gill  to  the  south.  This  mode  of  weathering 
is  noticeable  on  some  of  the  boulders  in  Fig.  39. 

The  Cheese  Stones  are  evidently  the  last  fragments  of  a 
stratum  of  sandstone  formerly  covering  the  site  of  Baysdale 
Moors.  With  few  exceptions  (Stony  Moor  being  one)  all 
the  moorland  boulders  have  either  been  derived  from  some 
higher  bed  long  since  worn  away,  or  from  the  strata  on  which 
they  repose.  They  are  not  in  the  slightest  way  connected 
with  the  Ice  Age,  as  the  high  moors  were  never  glaciated. 

If  we  project  a  moorland  spur  against  the  sky,  we  find 
that,  as  a  rule,  its  outline  is  a  gentle  curve  more  or  less 
broken  by  scarps  or  steeper  slopes,  as  may  be  seen  in  Figs. 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

22,  40,  and  53.  In  ascending  such  a  spur  we  pass  over  the 
outcrop  (mostly  concealed  by  peat  and  vegetation)  of  the 
different  strata  which  form  the  uplands  of  North-Eastern 
Yorkshire.  The  steep  scarps  correspond  more  or  less  to 
the  outcrop  of  some  hard  bed  of  grit,  whereas  the  less  inclined 
slopes  correspond  to  softer  beds.  By  an  examination  of  all 
the  natural  and  artificial  sections  in  the  rocks,  by  piecing 
together  the  data  so  collected,  and  further,  by  a  careful 
consideration  of  the  minuter  details  of  moorland  topo- 
graphy, we  can  obtain  an  accurate  knowledge  of  the  strati- 
graphy of  the  moors  (see  geological  map  at  end  of  volume). 
It  may  be  premised  that  the  strata  are  nearly  horizontal, 
and  that  they  have  been  cut  up  into  valleys,  hills,  and  spurs, 
by  the  denuding  action  of  the  atmosphere  and  rivers  of  the 
district.  Furthermore,  the  rocks  have  been  ascertained  to 
date  back  to  the  Mesozoic  Age  of  the  earth's  history,  and 
to  belong  exclusively  to  the  Jurassic  system  of  the  same  age. 
At  that  period  the  whole  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  was 
under  water,  into  which  diverse  sediments  were  poured, 
whose  consolidated  remains  now  constitute  the  strata  of 
the  moorland  region. 

The  oldest  rocks  covered  by  ericetal  plants  belong  to  the 
Lias,  a  marine  formation  consisting  principally  of  shales, 
ironstones,  and  sandstones,  which  forms  the  base  of  the 
heather-clad  uplands,  and  which  crops  out  on  the  slopes 
and  sides  of  the  great  dales.  In  Westerdale  and  on 
Carlton  Bank,  moorland  plants  may  be  seen  upon  the 
jet  and  alum  shales  of  the  Upper  Lias,  and  these  beds  are 
probably  the  oldest  in  the  district  that  support  this  type 
of  vegetation. 

Succeeding  the  Lias  and  resting  upon  it  unconformably 
in  many  localities,  comes  that  strange  deposit,  the  Dogger  ; 
but  as  it  plays  a  very  small  part  upon  the  moors  we  may 
leave  it,  and  consider  those  beds  to  which  the  term  moorland 
is  more  strictly  applicable.  These  rocks  consist  chiefly  of 
sandstone   and   shale,  intercalated  with   narrow  bands   of 


Plwio  by]  Fig.  41. — The  Moor  Grit,  Castletox  Quarries.       [Frank  Elgee. 

,by]        Fig.  [2. — Kellaways  Rock,  Dimmingdali    Qi  vrry.      /./.    / 

Moorland  Rocks 

ironstone  and  impure  limestones  of  marine  origin.  The 
absence  of  marine  fossils,  the  presence  of  terrestrial  plants, 
and  the  occurrence  of  thin  coal  seams  testify  to  the  estuarine 
origin  of  the  bulk  of  the  moorland  strata.  Their  nature 
proves  that  the  site  of  the  moors  in  Jurassic  times  was  the 
estuary  of  some  large  river,  probably  flowing  from  the  north- 
west.* In  other  words,  the  strata  arose  from  the  accumula- 
tion of  sand  and  mud  in  the  estuary  itself.  This  stage  in 
the  geological  history  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  is  known 
as  the  Inferior  Oolite  or  Bajocian,  and  can  be  divided  into 
the  following  sub-stages  beginning  with  the  lowest  : — 


Lower  Estuarine  Series  (purple  on  the  map). 

Eller  Beck  Bed. 

Lower  Estuarine  Series,  with  coal  seams  at  the  top 

(purple  on  the  map). 
Grey  Limestone  Series  (green  on  the  map). 
Upper  Estuarine  Series,  with  Moor  Grit  at  base  (green 

on  the  map). 

On  the  coast  it  has  been  found  possible  to  divide  the 
Estuarine  Series  below  the  Grey  Limestone,  into  Lower 
and  Middle,  separated  by  a  marine  band  called  the  Millepore 
Bed  ;  but  as  this  has  not  yet  been  traced  inland,  the  two 
are  there  grouped  together  as  the  Lower  Estuarines. 

A  large  area  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands  is  covered 
by  the  Lower  Estuarines,  which  consist  principally  of  massive 
sandstones,  and  to  a  less  extent  of  sandy  shale.  They 
occur  on  all  the  ridges  dividing  the  dales  ;  on  Eston,  Barnaby, 
Hutton,  Ayton,  and  Guisborough  Moors,  and  on  the  moors 
of  the  Cleveland  Hills.  The  Cheese  Stones  have  been 
derived  from  this  formation,  which  also  gives  rise  to  the 
bold  sandstone  crags  capping  the  slopes  of  the  great  dales. 

That  the  sea  occasionally  made  its  presence  felt  during 

*  Fox-Strangways,   "  Jurassic  Rocks  of  Yorkshire,"  p.  391. 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

the  deposition  of  the  Lower  Estuarines  is  to  be  inferred 
from  a  marine  band,  the  Eller  Beck  Bed,  which  occurs 
towards  the  base  of  the  series  about  ioo  feet  above 
the  Dogger.  This  bed  derives  its  name  from  Eller 
Beck,  a  tributary  of  the  Murk  Esk,  and  consists  of 
flaggy  sandstones  and  ironstone  bands  with  marine  shells. 
It  reaches  the  surface  in  several  of  the  northern  dales, 
Baysdale,  Glaisdale,  the  Murk  Esk  Valley,  Bransdale, 
Farndale  and  elsewhere.  Its  chief  general  interest  lies  in 
the  fact  that  the  ironstone  was  much  worked  in  ancient 
times,  and  old  slag  heaps  or  cinder  hills  are  of  frequent 
occurrence  upon  its  outcrop.  Whoever  utilised  this  ore, 
whether  the  monks  in  the  dales,  the  Romans,  or  the  Scandi- 
navians, they  possessed  an  accurate  knowledge  of  the  local 
strata,  for  in  the  lower  parts  of  Baysdale  where  the  Eller 
Beck  Bed  occurs  just  above  the  stream,  are  several  large 
heaps  of  slag  on  the  exact  outcrop  of  the  ironstone. 

The   massive   Lower   Estuarine    sandstones   vary   much 
in    character   and   thickness ;     their   average   thickness   is 
between  250  and  300  feet,  the  greatest  development  being 
attained  in  the  northern  parts  of  the  area  ;  in  the  southern 
Hambletons  they  are  only  160  feet  thick.     They  frequently 
die  away  in  a   most   erratic  fashion,  well-illustrated  by  a 
peculiar  topographical  feature  on   Ingleby  Moor,   Hograh 
Moor,  Castleton  Rigg,  Danby  Rigg,  and  less  distinctly  on 
Glaisdale  Rigg.     This  feature  is  a  conspicuous  hummock  or 
long  hill  rising  to  a  height  of  from  fifty  to  a  hundred  feet  above 
the  surrounding  moorland  ;    each  locality  or  Rigg  bearing 
a  separate  hill.     These  detached  hills  are  evidently  the  last 
fragments  of  a  lenticular  mass  of  thick  sandstone  which 
must  have  formerly  extended  from  Ingleby  Moor  to  Glaisdale 
Rigg,   thinning   out   to  the  north  and  south.     The  latter 
portions  of  the  bed  have  long  ago  been  eroded  away  leaving 
the  central  and  more  massive  part  of  the  rock  as  a  con- 
spicuous landmark. 

Towards  the  top  of  the  Lower  Estuarine  Series  there  runs 


I'ho'.o  by] 

Fig.  43. — Cliff  of  Kellaways  Rock,  near        [Godfrey  Bingley. 
the  Needle's  Eye,  Newton  Dale. 

liwlo  by] 

Fig.   1 1.    Outlier  oi    Keli  aways  K<"  K, 

I  I  VRWOOD    DALl     Mi  iOR. 

I  Frank  Elgee. 

Moorland  Rocks 

a  thin  seam  of  inferior  coal  from  six  inches  to  three  feet 
in  thickness.  In  North  Cleveland,  the  moor  coal  outcrops 
on  the  north  side  of  Eskdale  below  Danby  Beacon,  whilst 
it  occurs  as  an  almost  continuous  bed  on  the  moors  at  the 
heads  of  Glaisdale,  Fryup  Dale,  Danby  Dale,  between  Farn- 
dale  and  Esklets,  and  round  Rosedale  Head  on  Rosedale 
Common.  It  has  also  been  traced  on  Helmsley  Moor  (Bog 
Mire  Gill),  Rudland  Moor,  Spindle  Thorn,  Bluewath  Beck, 
and  Collier  Gill,  as  well  as  in  other  localities. 

The  mining  of  the  moor  coal  used  to  be  an  important 
industry.  Where  the  seams  occur,  numerous  old  pits  may 
be  found,  the  grey  shale  heaps  along  some  gill  side  marking 
their  site  (Fig.  38).  A  little  over  thirty  years  ago  at  Poverty 
Hill,  below  Danby  Beacon,  the  coal  was  still  obtained, 
and  as  many  as  twelve  or  fourteen  carts  could  then  be  seen 
waiting  turn  for  loads.  Shafts  were  sunk  in  some  places 
to  a  depth  of  forty-three  yards,  and  the  seam  was  worked 
by  the  light  of  candles,  and  after  being  placed  in  small  tubs, 
the  coal  was  hauled  up  the  shafts  by  means  of  a  horse  gin. 

Wherever  clear  sections  can  be  observed,  the  moor  coal 
is  seen  to  rest  on  an  underclay  or  shale  traversed  by  the 
carbonised  rootlets  of  plants.  The  following  is  a  charac- 
teristic section  measured  in  a  quarry  on  the  east  side  of 
the  Moss  Swang  valley  near  Egton  Bridge  : — 

Shaley  sandstone  at  base,  passing  into  pure  sandstone. 
Sandy  shale,  becoming  clayey  at  the  top  and  with  ferru- 
ginous vertical  partitions. 
Impure  coal,  ten  inches,  boundaries  ill-defined. 
Clayey  shale,  with  plant  rootlets,  ten  inches. 
Very  impure  sandy  coal,  at  top. 

This  section,  properly  interpreted,  gives  us  a  good  idea 
of  the  physical  condition  of  the  moors  during  the  epoch 
in  question.  The  lowest  beds  indicate  shallow  water 
silted  up  with  sand.  Gradually  vegetation  flourished  in 
the  pools  on  a  thin  soil  represented  by  the  shale  which 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

forms  the  underclay.  The  decay  and  accumulation  of  the 
plants  produced  the  lower  coal,  this  in  its  turn  being  covered 
with  another  soil  in  which  grew  the  plants  forming  the  top 
seam.  Occasionally  lenticular  masses  of  coal  exist  in  the 
Lower  Estuarine  sandstone,  as  may  be  seen  in  a  quarry  on 
Westerdale  Moor,  but  they  do  not  form  extensive  beds. 

Forming  a  Mesozoic  coalfield,  the  moor  coal  in  its  mode 
•of  occurrence  greatly  resembles  that  of  the  seams  in  the 
Carboniferous  System,  but  an  enormous  interval  of  time 
separates  the  two,  the  fossil  plants  associated  with  them 
being  entirely  different.     The  Carboniferous  flora  is  charac- 
terised by  the  luxuriant  development  of  lycopods,  equise- 
tales,  and  ferns  ;    the  Bajocian  vegetation  is  characterised 
by  the  abundance  of  conifers,  cycads  and  ferns  ;   but  great 
as  this  difference  is,  it  is  not  so  great  as  that  between  the 
Bajocian    and    the    present    ericetal    flora.     Although    the 
Bajocian  vegetation  has  no  direct  relation  to  that  of  the 
moors,  yet  it  will  be  well  to  glance  at  it,  for  it  convincingly 
shows  us  that  the  now  existing  plants  were  at  that  period 
absolutely  non-existent.     Nothing  can  appeal  with  greater 
force  to  the  student  of  the  moors  than  to  come  across  a 
block  of  rock  embedded  in  peat,  with   Ling  and  Bilberry 
nodding  over  it,  and  bearing  upon  its  surface  a  fossil  frond 
of  this  ancient  vegetation.     Within  such  a  small  compass 
the  whole  history  of  the  moors  is  compressed,  from  the  remote 
past  to  the  present  day  (Fig.  37). 

The  fossil  plant  most  frequently  met  with  on  moorland 
boulders  is  a  cycad,  Williamsonia  pecten  or  gigas  (Fig.  37),  a 
plant  that  must  have  been  abundant  either  on  the  sandbanks 
of  the  Bajocian  estuary,  or  on  the  adjacent  shores.  Associ- 
ated with  it  are  other  species  and  genera  of  the  same  group, 
Otozamites,  Nilssonia,  Dictyozamites  and  Zamites.  These 
last  two  genera  have  only  within  recent  years  been  detected 
in  the  Bajocian  formations  of  Britain.  Ferns,  too,  are  not 
uncommom,  and  include  species  of  Cladophlebis,  Tceniopteris, 
Coniopteris,  Dictyophyllum,  etc.     The  Gingkoales  are  repre- 


Moorland  Rocks 

sented  among  other  species  by  Gingko  digitata,  a  plant  very 
closely  related  to  the  Maiden-hair  Fern  Tree  {Gingko  biloba) 
of  China  and  Japan. 

Another  very  characteristic  species  is  a  Horsetail  {Equi- 
setites  cohimnaris),  often  found  in  the  position  of  growth 
in  the  sandstones,  and  from  which  we  can  form  a  clear 
picture  of  large  swamps  of  these  plants  being  quietly  over- 
whelmed and  embedded  in  sandy  shoals. 

As  summarised  by  Professor  Seward,  the  main  feature 
of  the  Yorkshire  Bajocian  flora  is  its  extremely  close  re- 
semblance to  floras  of  similar  age  from  Bornholm,  India, 
and  Japan.  From  the  available  data  he  draws  the  conclu- 
sion that  the  Mesozoic  vegetation  was  not  only  very  similar 
all  over  the  world,  but  also  throughout  Jurassic  times  it 
was  comparatively  uniform. 

The  climate  of  Yorkshire  in  Bajocian  times  must  have 
been  decidedly  warmer  than  it  is  to-day,  as  may  be  inferred 
from  the  present  distribution  of  cycads,  a  conclusion  still 
further  strengthened  by  the  fauna  of  the  Lias  and  the  coral 
reefs  of  the  Tabular  Hills.* 

Above  the  coal-bearing  strata  comes  the  Grey  Limestone 
Series.  Typically  developed  on  the  coast  and  attaining  a 
maximum  thickness  of  ninety  feet  at  Peak,  this  series 
is  so-called  because  its  chief  member  is  a  bed  of  greyish 
blue  limestone  full  of  marine  fossils.  Inland,  however, 
the  beds  are  thinner,  thirty  to  fifty  feet,  becoming  much  less 
calcareous,  and  on  the  moorlands  can  generally  be  sub- 
divided into  three  divisions,  viz.  :  a  lower  series  of  impure 
limestone  bands  ;  a  middle  series  of  very  coarse  fossiliferous 
grits  ;  and  an  upper  series  of  shales  with  ferruginous  and 
calcareous  nodules,  f  It  is  the  middle  division  which  is  of 
the  most  importance.  Where  the  exceedingly  coarse  fossil- 
iferous grit  appears  at  the  surface  it  forms  barren  and  stony 

*  Seward.   "  The   Jurassic   Flora."     Catalogue  Mesozoic   Plants    in 
the  British  Museum. 

f  Fox-Strangways,  "  Jurassic  Rocks  of  Yorkshire,"  p.  23'.. 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

moorlands,  and  its  presence  is  always  indicated  by  a  steep 
scarp  on  the  slopes.  This  rock  encircles  a  large  part  of  the 
moor  between  Kildale  and  Baysdale,  and  sends  out  a  pro- 
minent tongue  in  the  form  of  a  steep  scarp  to  the  east. 
The  surface  is  covered  with  boulders  of  all  sizes  and  shapes, 
and  they  can  be  quite  easily  distinguished  from  those  of 
any  other  moorland  sandstone  or  grit  for  they  weather  out 
with  curiously  pitted  and  lined  surfaces  some  of  the  hollows 
of  which  formerly  contained  fossils  (Fig.  39). 

The  outcrop  of  the  Grey  Limestone  Series  on  the  north 
side  of  the  Esk  presents  similar  features  to  those  displayed 
on  Kempswithen  ;  the  largest  spread  of  the  grit  being  on 
Wayworth  and  Commondale  Moors,  whilst  along  the  northern 
slopes  of  Eskdale  it  can  be  traced  as  a  comparatively  narrow 
band  as  far  as  the  Stonegate  Valley.  On  Egton  Low  Moor 
it  forms  an  irregular  oval  outcrop,  but  in  this  area  it  is  of 
minor  importance.  Not  until  we  reach  the  great  watershed 
dividing  the  dales  do  we  find  the  largest  areas  occupied 
by  the  fossiliferous  grits,  which  here  become  a  very  im- 
portant feature  in  the  moorland  topography  and  form  a 
series  of  spurs  and  elevations  in  the  highest  parts  of  the 
district.  A  large  patch  lies  on  Stony  Ridge,  but  the  most 
extensive  spread  runs  from  Farndale  Moor  to  Rosedale 
Common  by  Ralph  Cross,  Loose  Howe,  where  the  rise  on 
which  the  Howe  stands  marks  the  outcrop  (Fig.  40),  Cock 
Heads  and  Glaisdale  Moor,  a  distance  of  six  miles,  along 
which  the  outcrop  varies  in  breadth  from  half-a-mile  to 
nearly  two  miles  on  the  watershed.  The  usual  arid  and 
barren  moor  is  not  produced  by  the  grit,  as  the  moors  here 
are  peaty,  and  consequently  the  direct  action  of  the  rock 
upon  the  vegetation  is  obscured.  Outliers  extend  along  the 
ridges  separating  Bilsdale  from  Bransdale,  and  Farndale 
from  Rosedale.  Further  south,  towards  the  foot  of  the 
Tabular  Hills,  the  grit  runs  as  a  narrow  band  parallel  to 
the  escarpment. 

On  the  west  side  of  Bilsdale,  near  Hazel  House,  are  the 


Moorland  Rocks 

singular  hollows  in  the  grit  called  Hell  Holes  (see  Chapter  I.). 
According    to    the    Geological    Survey,  these    have    been 
formed  by  the  calcareous  strata  below  being  dissolved  away. 
At  its  most  northerly  outcrops  on  Eston   and  Whorlton 
Moors,  the  fossiliferous  grit  is  exceedingly  coarse  with  quartz 
grains  the  size  of  peas.     Though  elsewhere  the  grains  are 
large,  they  rarely  attain  this  size.     The  junction  of  the  green 
and  the  purple  on  the  map  indicates  the  outcrop  of  this  bed. 
Immediately    above   the    Grey    Limestone   Series  comes 
the  well-known  Moor  Grit  or  White  Flint,  the  first  member 
of  the  Upper  Estuarine  strata  which  also  play  an  important 
part  on  the  moorlands.     Differing  greatly  from  other  moor- 
land rocks,  the  White  Flint  is  a  close,  compact,  siliceous  rock, 
often    assuming   when    exposed   to   the   weather   a   glassy 
appearance  which  renders  it  unmistakable  (Fig.  41).     Essen- 
tially  a   sandstone   composed   of   colourless   quartz   grains 
cemented   together   with   amorphous   quartz,   it   differs   in 
this  respect  from  other  moorland  sandstones  which,  as  a 
rule,  have  iron  oxides  as  cementing  substances.     The  Moor 
Grit,  much  used  as  road  metal,  makes  the  greatest  spread 
on  Egton  High  Moor  and  White  Moor  just  to  the  south. 
North  of  the  Esk  it  comes  to  the  surface  on  Commondale 
Moor,  but  elsewhere  it  does  not  cover  such  wide  areas,  and 
occurs  as  a  narrow  band  on  Danby  and  Egton  Low  Moors 
and  the  moorland  between  Whitby  and  Scarborough.     In 
the  west  it  caps  the  hill  of  Kemspwithen  at  Pike  Howe, 
and  Burton  Howe  above  Ingleby  Greenhow. 

The  Estuarine  Beds  above  the  Moor  Grit  are  more  shaley 
than  the  series  below,  although  near  their  uppermost  limit 
a  hard  sandstone  band  can  be  detected.  It  is  mainly  from 
a  botanical  aspect  that  this  set  of  beds  assumes  any  im- 
portance, for  it  gives  rise  to  cold  wet  moorlands  covering  a 
very  large  area.  The  wide  moors  of  Sleights,  Sneaton, 
Widow  Howe,  Fylingdales  and  Harwood  Dale  have  for  their 
surface  rock  the  shales  and  thin  sandstones  of  the  Upper 
Estuarine  Series,  which  also,  as  will  be  seen  from  the  map, 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

make  a  considerable  spread  on  the  moors  at  the  foot  of  the 
Tabular  Hills,  westwards  to  Osmotherley. 

With  the  deposition  of  the  Upper  Estuarines,  which  attain 
a  thickness  of  about  200  feet,  the  estuarine  stage  came  to 
an  end,  a  subsidence  letting  in  the  sea,  which  thenceforward 
covered  the  site  of  the  moors  until  the  close  of  the  Jurassic 
period.  The  first  evidence  of  this  next  stage  in  the  geolo- 
gical history  of  the  district  we  find  in  the  stratum,  imme- 
diately above  the  Upper  Estuarines,  the  Cornbrash,  which,, 
since  it  is  of  minor  importance  to  us  here  and  occupies  but 
a  small  space  on  the  moors,  we  may  pass  over,  merely  re- 
marking that  its  presence  is  indicated  on  the  map  by  the 
line  dividing  the  green  (Upper  Estuarines)  from  the  pink 
(the  Kellaways  Rock). 

Above  the  Cornbrash  come  the  Middle  Oolites,  rocks 
which  form  the  greater  part  of  the  Tabular  and  Hambleton 
Hills,  and  which  are  usually  classified  as  follows  : — 

Callovian    Kellaways  Rock. 
Oxfordian    Oxford  Clay. 

/Lower  Calcareous  Grit. 
Passage  Beds. 
Corallian  J  Lower  Limestone. 

I  Middle  Calcareous  Grit. 
Upper  Limestone  and  Coral  Rag. 
\Upper  Calcareous  Grit. 

So  far  as  this  work  is  concerned  these  different  beds  are 
of  varying  significance.  Moors  occur  on  them  up  to  the 
Middle  Calcareous  Grit  ;  but  the  principal  strata  from  our 
point  of  view  are  the  Kellaways  Rock  and  the  Lower  Cal- 
careous Grit,  the  first  forming  the  base,  and  the  latter 
the  summit  of  the  Tabular  Hills.  Taking  its  name  from 
Kellaways  Bridge  in  Wiltshire,  the  Kellaways  Rock  is  a. 
soft  yellowish  brown  and  sometimes  calcareous  marine 
sandstone,  covering  a  considerable  moorland  area,  and 
varying  in  thickness  from  70  to   no  feet,  the  maximum, 





















— * 

































«     2 


Moorland  Rocks 

being  attained  in  Newton  Dale.     North  of  the  Esk  the  bed 
is  well-developed  on  Moorsholm,  Liverton,  Wapley,  Easington 
and  Roxby  Moors  (Fig.  42),  whilst  in  the  south  it  outcrops 
at  the  foot  of  the  Tabular  Hills,  and  is  especially  character 
istic  of  the  nobly  precipitous  cliffs  of  Newton  Dale  (Fig.  43). 
The  nabs  in  the  frontispiece  and  in  Fig.  31  are  formed  by 
this  stratum.     In  this  region  it  reaches  its  widest  expanse 
on  Allerston  and  Lockton  High  Moors  ;   but  on  the  western 
side  of  the  same  valley,  as  it  sweeps  along  the  base  of  the 
escarpment,  the  Kellaways  Rock  gradually  lessens  in  breadth 
of    outcrop,   and  from  forming  heather-clad    land  a  mile 
wide  on  Wilden  Moor,  Wardle  Rigg  and  Flamborough  Rigg, 
at  Lastingham  and  Gillamoor  it  becomes  much  narrower, 
running  out  in  a  series  of  bold  spurs  facing  north.     Still 
further  to  the  west  the  rock  becomes  a  prominent  scarp  or 
shelf  at  the  foot  of  Black  Hambleton  and  Arden  Moor.     The 
most  singular  feature  of  the  Kellaways  Rock  is  its  occurrence 
in  outlying  patches  on  high  points  some  distance  from  the 
main  outcrop,  but  this  may  be  more  conveniently  considered 
when  the  erosion  of  the  moorland  rocks  is  dealt  with. 

Above  the  southern  plateau  of  the  Kellaways  Rock  rises 
the  bold,  steep,  and  impressive  escarpment  of  the  Tabular 
Hills  ;  the  course  of  which  is  clearly  indicated  on  the  map 
at  the  junction  of  the  pink  and  blue  colours,  and  the  character 
of  which  is  shown  in  Figs.  45,  46,  47,  49  and  50.  Between 
the  Lower  Calcareous  Grit  and  the  Kellaways  Rock  is  the 
soft  Oxford  Clay,  consisting  of  fifty  to  seventy  feet  of  grey 
sandy  shale  which  forms  the  slope  of  the  escarpment.  More 
important  as  a  moor-bearing  stratum  is  the  Lower  Calcareous 
Grit,  a  yellow  calcareous  sandstone  varying  from  60  to 
200  feet  in  thickness.  The  peculiar  and  striking  flat-topped 
summits  of  the  Tabular  Hills  are  due  to  hard  siliceous  bands 
of  this  rock  cropping  out  at  the  surface,  which  surface,  as 
noted  in  earlier  chapters,  bears  considerable  areas  of  moor- 
land, viz.  :  Black  Hambleton  and  Arden  Great  Moor  in 
the  west ;    Rievaulx  Moor,  Birk  Nab,  Boonhill  Common  in 

193  N 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

the  central  part  of  the  range  ;  Levisham,  Lockton  Low, 
Allerston  Low,  Troutsdale,  Wykeham  Low,  Hackness, 
Suffield,  Seamer  and  Irton  Moors  in  the  east.  The  grit 
caps  the  great  outliers  of  Easterside  and  Hawnby  Hills  in 
Ryedale,  Blakey  Topping  and  the  long  and  singular  ridge 
of  Langdale.  In  the  west,  the  same  bed  forms  the  summit 
of  the  Hambletons  sweeping  south  to  the  great  precipices 
of  Whitestone  Cliff  and  Roulston  Scar. 

As  noted  in  earlier  chapters,  the  dissolving  action  of  the 
rain  has  removed  nearly  all  the  calcareous  matter  from 
this  formation  which  at  the  surface  has  the  appearance 
of  a  white  siliceous  sandstone,  numerous  pebbles  and  small 
boulders  being  dispersed  amongst  the  Heather.  On  Levis- 
ham Moor,  stream  courses  or  "  griffs "  are  of  frequent 
occurrence  in  this  rock.  In  summer  they  contain  little  or 
no  stream  ;  but  in  times  of  flood  and  in  winter  turgid  waters 
roar  down  their  narrow  channels.  On  Arden  Moor,  there 
are  numerous  large  circular  hollows  in  the  grit,  the  precise 
origin  of  which  is  not  at  all  clear. 

Succeeding  the  Lower  Calcareous  Grit  come  the  Passage 
Beds,  so-named  because  they  form  the  passage  between 
the  lower  horizons  of  the  Middle  Oolite  and  the  Corallian 
Limestones  above.  North  of  Staindale  they  form  the 
picturesque  group  of  rocks,  the  Bride  Stones  (Fig.  48). 
Writing  of  these  the  Geological  Survey  say  : — "  Beyond 
Bickley,  the  Passage  Beds  change  very  much  in  character. 
They  become  much  more  gritty,  and  losing  the  calcareous 
aspect  almost  entirely,  pass  into  a  true  grit,  with  here  and 
there  a  few  lenticular  aggregations  of  fossils  and  calcareous 
bands.  It  is  this  rock  which  forms  those  remarkable  blocks 
known  as  Bride  Stones  ;  which,  standing  up  on  the  bleak 
surface  of  the  moor  above  Staindale  in  a  most  peculiar 
manner,  have  a  very  weird  appearance."* 

It  will  be  unnecessary  to  describe  in  detail  the  strata 

*  "  Jurassic  Rocks  of  Yorkshire,"  p.  320. 










Moorland  Rocks 

above  the  Passage  Beds,  rocks  which  are  very  calcareous, 
and  from  which  we  learn  that  the  warm  waters  of  a  coral 
sea  once  covered  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  perhaps  the  most 
remarkable  geographical  condition  the  district  has  passed 
through.  These  higher  beds,  geologically  speaking,  form 
the  more  southern  parts  of  the  Tabular  and  Hambleton 
Hills,  and  there  are  a  few  moors  occurring  upon  them  which 
are  worthy  of  attention  since  they  demonstrate  most  clearly 
the  dependence  of  ericetal  vegetation  on  special  kinds  of 
rocks.     These  moors  are  the  following  : — 

Snainton  Moor  on  the  Lower  Limestone. 

Rievaulx  and  Carlton  Moors  (in  part)  on  the  Lower 

Dalby  Warren,  Pexton  Moor,  Wass,  Ampleforth  and 

Sproxton  Moors,  Little  Moor  (south  of  Arden),  on 

the  Middle  Calcareous  Grit. 

The  occurrence  of  these  moors  is  due  to  the  arenaceous 
character  of  the  strata  ;  limestone  being  either  absent  or 
very  impure.  It  is  this  geological  feature  which  explains 
the  southward  extension  of  the  moors  at  Dalby  Warren  ; 
and  the  curious,  isolated,  irregular  area  east  of  Helmsley, 
separated  from  the  main  moors  of  the  Hambletons  by  the 
richer,  calcareous,  cultivated  country  around  Cold  Kirby 
and  Old  Byland.  Speaking  of  Dalby  Warren,  Mr.  Fox- 
Strangway?  says  : — "  We  find  a  large  spread  of  the  rock 
(Middle  Calcareoub  Grit)  on  Dalby  Moor,  where  it  occupies 
nearly  the  whole  of  the  higher  ground,  and  runs  out  in  a 
series  of  long  tongues  capping  the  ridges  between  the  nu- 
merous valleys  that  intersect  tho^e  hills.  It  here  forms 
very  dead  cold  land  covered  with  Heather ;  the  change  in 
vegetation  from  this  land  to  the  calcareous  beds  below  being 
very  sharp  and  well  defined."* 

The  southern  boundary  of  the  moors  from  Rievaulx  to 
Levisham  forms  a  faiily  regular  line  on  the  moorland  map, 

*  "  Jurassic  Rocks  of  Yorkshire,"  p.  339. 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

and  this  line  is  rendered  more  remarkable  when  we  remember 
that  in  places  the  boundary  lies  well  to  the  south  of  the  es- 
carpment edge  of  the  Tabular  Hills,  as  at  Rievaulx  and  Levis- 
ham  ;  and  in  others  it  is  at  their  foot,  especially  at  Hutton- 
le-Hole  and  Lastingham.  Generally  speaking,  this  boun- 
dary has  been  determined  by  the  nature  of  the  rocks,  which, 
as  soon  as  they  become  calcareous,  cease  to  support  moors, 
using  the  term  in  its  widest  local  sense.  The  boundary  is 
partly  artificial,  for  man  has  undoubtedly  reclaimed  much 
thin  heather-clad  land  and  grassy  common  on  the  Tabular 
Range.  It  is  possible  for  Heather  moors  to  flourish  on  lime- 
stone, but  usually  the  conditions  are  such  as  to  prevent  the 
formation  of  raw  humus.  Near  Pickering  there  is  a  place 
called  Scalla  Moor,  now  agricultural  land,  which  must  formerly 
have  occurred  on  the  Upper  Limestone  and  Coral  Rag  ; 
but  whether  it  was  clothed  with  Heather  or  was  a  grassy 
common  like  Spaunton  Moor  is  quite  impossible  to  say.  If 
peat  or  raw  humus  can  possibly  form  on  limestones  we  may 
get  moors.  Thus  on  the  Upper  Limestone,  near  Kirby 
Moorside,  Heather  and  some  of  its  associates  grow  under 
Pine  trees,  and  are  surrounded  by  highly  cultivated  land. 
This  feature  is  probably  due  to  the  formation  of  a  thin 
peaty  humus  on  the  calcareous  soil  owing  to  the  damper 
situation  under  the  trees. 

It  is  almost  superfluous  to  point  out  that  the  boundary 
of  the  moors  in  the  west,  and  along  the  escarpments  of 
Cleveland,  coincides  with  the  extension  in  those  directions 
of  the  Inferior  Oolite  rocks,  the  great  peculiarity  of  the 
Hambletons  being  the  heather-clad  spurs  of  Estuarine  beds 
which  run  out  into  the  plain  below  the  great  escarpment 
of  the  Middle  Oolites.  A  comparison  of  the  two  maps 
shows  that  Over  Silton  Moor,  Cowesby  Moor,  Woolmoor, 
and  Boltby  Moor  (which  is  a  double  spur)  are  of  this  nature. 
It  may  also  be  remarked  that  in  north-east  Cleveland,  though 
much  of  the  country  has  Bajocian  strata  at  the  surface, 
yet  these  are  not  covered  with  Heather  owing  to  the  thick- 


Moorland  Rocks 

ness  of  the  glacial  deposits,  a  circumstance  which  accounts 
for  the  limited  and  somewhat  broken  character  of  the  moors 
near  the  village  of  Egton. 

In  our  description  of  the  moorland  rocks  we  have  not 
attempted  to  describe  all  their  peculiarities  or  the  changes 
they  undergo  as  they  range  across  the  district.  Not  only 
would  this  lead  us  too  far  into  the  domain  of  geology,  but 
for  our  purposes  it  would  be  of  little  use.  The  chief  general 
conclusion  at  which  we  have  arrived  is  that  by  far  the  larger 
area  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands  coincides  with  the  outcrop 
of  the  Bajocian  Estuarine  grits,  sandstones  and  shales,  and 
to  a  less  extent  with  the  sandy  strata  of  the  Middle  Oolites 
of  the  Tabular  and  Hambleton  Hills.  These  rocks  being 
poor  in  plant  food,  very  siliceous,  largely  covered  with 
layers  of  peat  and  raw  humus,  and  exposed  to  a  high  rain- 
fall, evidently  form  the  indispensable  basis  for  the  evolution 
and  development  of  heather-clad  lands,  a  conclusion  amply 
verified  by  observations  made  in  other  parts  of  the  country. 





WHY  are  the  moorland  rocks  so  distributed  over 
the  district  ?     Why  should  the  moors  between 
Sleights  and  May  Moss  lie  upon  the  Upper 
Estuarine  Beds,  whereas  towards  the  central 
and     western     regions     the     Lower     Estuarines     occupy 
the    surface  ?       Again,    why    should     the     older     strata, 
the  Bajocian,  cover  a  wider  area  than  younger  beds — the 
Kellaways    Rock    or    the  Lower    Calcareous    Grit  ?      The 
answer  to  these  and  other  similar  questions  is  to  be  found  in 
a  consideration   of  the  inclination   of  the  rocks  and  the 
erosion  to  which  they  have  been  subjected.     The  inclination 
or  dip  of  the  strata  has  been  a  factor  of  great  importance 
not  only  in  determining  their  present  distribution,  but  also 
the  amount  of  erosion  they  have  undergone,  the  courses 
of  the  rivers,  the  origin  of  the  dales,  and  the  scenery  of 
Black-a-more.     In  the  chapter  on  the  Mosses  it  was  pointed 
out  that  the  high  central  watershed  from  Urra  Moor  to 
Robin  Hood's  Bay  declines  in  an  easterly  direction,  and 
generally  speaking  this  declination  corresponds  to  the  dip 
of  the  rocks  which  were  uplifted  after  their  formation,  to  a 
greater  height  in  the  west  than  in  the  east.     Traced  west- 
wards along  the  moors  of  the  watershed  the  area  occupied 
by    the    successive    strata    becomes    relatively    prominent. 
The  Kellaways  Rock  and  Upper  Estuarines  prevail  upon 
the  moors  round  the  head  of  the  River  Derwent  and  Newton 
Dale  ;  on  Wheeldale  and  Egton  Moors,  the  Moor  Grit  covers 
a  wider  area  than  elsewhere  ;  next  comes  the  greatest  spread 
of  the  Fossiliferous  Grit  still  further  westwards  ;  and  beyond 
this  the  main  moorland  strata  are  mostly  of  Lower  Estuarine 



MILES  =  I   INCH;    VERTICAL  SCALE,  I/I0"  =  200  FEET. 


























d  b: 

■D  O 

"5  o 

SEA   LEVEL.   I     S.E. 

OF  TRIGGER  CASTLE  (See  p   211). 

AMerston  High 

Ebberston  High 

Hipper  Beck 
)l_angdale  Ridge. 
Broxa  Moor 

High   Dales 




Pickering  Moor 

Trigger  Castle 

Rutmoor  Beck. 




Freeborough  Hill 

Danby  Low  Moor 

Castleton  Ridge 

Ralph  Cross 

Hutton  Ridge 

Hutton  Knoll. 

Hutton  1e  Hole 
Tabular  Hills. 

The    Erosion    of   the    Moorland  Rocks 

age.  The  beds  dip  successively  one  beneath  the  othei  to- 
wards the  east  ;  the  Lower  Estuarines  pass  below  the  Grey 
Limestone  Series,  this  below  the  Moor  Grit  and  Upper 
Estuarines.     (See  sections). 

Important  as  the  easterly  dip  of  the  Jurassic  strata  is, 
it  is  not  so  important  as  their  southerly  dip — a  dip  which 
is  general  over  the  whole  of  eastern  Yorkshire.  If  we 
stand  upon  the  escarpment  of  the  Tabular  Hills,  we  may 
observe  how  the  strata  roll  up  like  great  waves  from  the 
south  to  the  watershed.  The  escarpment  itself  forms  the 
trough  of  the  first  wave,  rising  from  the  floor  of  the  Vale 
of  Pickering ;  from  beneath  this  escarpment  emerges  a 
second  wave,  the  plateau  of  the  Kellaways  Rock,  whose 
trough  is  indicated  by  a  series  of  bold  nabs.  Then  comes 
a  smaller  wave  caused  by  the  outcrop  of  the  Moor  Grit  and 
Grey  Limestone ;  succeeded  by  a  great  arch  of  Lower 
Estuarine  Beds  which  bend  over  the  watershed  and  dip 
down  to  the  Esk  Valley.  In  reality  the  central  watershed 
corresponds  more  or  less  to  the  summit  of  a  dome  of  rocks 
— an  anticline — on  one  side  of  which  the  strata  dip  south  to 
the  Vale  of  Pickering,  and  upon  the  other  north  to  the  Vale 
of  the  Esk.  North  of  this  latter  valley  the  geneial  southerly 
dip  is  interrupted  by  a  synclinal  trough  running  from  west 
of  Freeborough  Hill  to  Ugthorpe,  causing  the  stiata  to  dip 
northwards  from  the  northern  watershed.     (See  sections). 

To  comprehend  fully  the  bearing  of  these  stratigraphical 
phenomena  upon  the  erosion  of  the  moorland  rocks,  it  will 
be  necessary  to  glance  at  the  geological  history  of  the  district 
after  the  deposition  of  the  Corallian  Series.  Laid  down  in 
a  warm  tropical  sea  dotted  with  coial  reefs,  these  strata 
probably  overspread  a  much  larger  area  to  the  north  than 
is  the  case  at  present  ;  but  towards  the  close  of  that  part  of 
the  Jurassic  age,  the  water  became  charged  with  fine  mud, 
now  forming  the  Kimmeridge  Clay  of  the  Vale  of  Pickering. 
What  area  the  clay  formerly  covered  we  have  no  means  of 
ascertaining,  but  that  the  Chalk,  now  restricted  to  the  Wolds, 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

once  existed  over  the  moorland  region  there  can  be  little 

Towards  the  close  of  Jurassic  times,  there  is  evidence  to 
show  that  the  Jurassic  rocks  were  elevated  and  subjected 
to  much  erosion,  and  it  seems  probable  that  the  upheaval 
took  place  along  lines  that  have  been  elevated  and  depressed 
in  succeeding  ages.*  The  truth  of  this  post- Jurassic  denuda- 
tion is  based  on  a  variety  of  facts  only  one  of  which  need  be 
noted.  At  Warter,  near  Market  Weighton,  the  Chalk  can  be 
seen  reposing  on  the  Lower  Lias,  all  the  intervening  beds, 
the  Middle  and  Upper  Lias,  the  Bajocian,  the  Corallian,  and 
Kimmeridgian,  being  absent ;  and  although  it  is  quite  possible 
that  these  strata  were  not  perhaps  so  well-developed  in  the 
southern  area  as  in  the  northern,  yet  the  Warter  section  shows 
clearly  that  the  Jurassic  rocks  underwent  extensive  erosion 
before  the  Chalk  was  deposited.  How  much  of  the  strata  was 
removed  in  the  moorland  region  cannot  be  known,  but 
shortly  afterwards,  geologically  speaking,  they  sank  beneath 
the  sea,  and  the  Chalk  was  deposited  upon  them.  This  last 
fact  is  inferred  from  the  character  and  stratigraphical  features 
which  the  Chalk  presents  at  its  most  northern  outcrop  on 
the  south  side  of  the  Vale  of  Pickering.  These  features, 
according  to  Mr.  Cowper  Reed,  are  : — its  great  thickness, 
its  general  freedom  from  shore  deposits,  and  its  dip,  which 
if  carried  northwards,  would  bring  it  over  the  moorland 
anticlinal,  which  had  probably  been  formed  at  the  close 
of  the  Oolitic  Period,  f 

After  the  long  Cretaceous  ages  had  passed  away,  the 
sea  floor  was  elevated  once  more,  and  the  uplift  was  probably 
greater  in  the  west  than  in  the  east,  and  gave  to  the  rocks  a 
general  south-easterly  dip.  It  has  been  thought  by  some 
geologists — chief  amongst  whom  were  Professor  John  Phillips 
and  Mr.  Fox-Strangways — that  as  the  Cretaceous  and 
Jurassic  beds  rose  above  the  waves,  the  sea  wore  them  down 

*  Fox-Strangways,  op.  cit.,  p.  410. 
I  "  Rivers  of  East  Yorkshire,"  p.  27. 







The    Erosion    of   the    Moorland  Rocks 

to  a  "  plain  of  marine  denudation,"  the  remains  of  which 
plain  are  to  be  found  in  the  general  flatness  of  the  moorlands. 
Other  geologists,  including  Professor  W.  M.  Davis  and  Mr. 
Cowper  Reed,  think  that  sub-aerial  denudation  reduced  the 
district  to  a  base  level  of  erosion,  or  peneplain,  towards  the 
close  of  Oligocene  times,  and  that  this  peneplain  was  uplifted 
during  the  Miocene,  and  is  still  represented  by  the  general 
level  of  the  moorland  massif. 

If  the  sea  has  been  an  agent  in  the  origination  of  the 
peneplain,  we  should  naturally  expect  to  find  records  of 
its  presence  in  deposits  of  Tertiary  age  ;  but  it  is  a  most 
remarkable  fact  that  within  the  unglaciated  country,  super- 
ficial deposits  (except  peat  beds)  are  almost  entirely  wanting. 
Whether  such  formations  ever  existed  is  uncertain,  for 
denudation  in  succeeding  geological  times  may  have  swept 
them  away.  Nevertheless  there  are  indications  that  Ter- 
tiary beds  may  have  once  covered  a  part  of  the  Jurassic 
rocks  ;  and  these  indications  take  the  form  of  scattered 
pebbles  of  quartzite,  flint,  and  occasionally  other  materials 
at  present  undetermined. 

If  Bluewath  Beck — the  headwaters  of  Wheeldale  Gill 
— be  followed  to  its  source  in  the  great  peat  moss  encircling 
Cock  Heads,  and  the  bed  of  the  stream  be  carefully  ex- 
amined, pebbles  quite  distinct  from  any  that  might  have 
been  derived  from  the  underlying  rocks  (the  Lower  Estuarine 
Series  below  the  Grey  Limestone)  will  be  noticed  in  some 
abundance.  These  pebbles  are  scattered  throughout  a 
considerable  length  of  the  stream  at  an  elevation  of  1200 
to  1 150  feet  or  slightly  lower,  and  become  much  rarer  down 
stream,  until  they  practically  disappear  at  some  distance 
above  Bluewath  Bridge.  Most  of  these  pebbles  are  small, 
and  consist  of  white  or  yellowish  white  quartzite  ;  their 
diameter  varies  from  one  inch  and  less  up  to  five  inches,  the 
latter  size  having  been  observed  in  one  pebble  only.  Besides 
counting  over  fifty  quartzite  pebbles  within  a  space  of  a 
few  hundred  yards,  I  also  found  two  or  three  pieces  of  pinkish 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

flint,  a  piece  of  agate,  a  fragment  of  reddish  quartzite,  and 
what  appears  to  be  a  small  specimen  of  lydian  stone. 
Most  of  the  pebbles  are  rounded,  but  a  great  number  are 
irregular  and  broken.  On  the  southern  side  of  Wheeldale 
Gill,  on  the  slopes  falling  towards  Rutmoor  Beck,  similar 
pebbles  occur,  though  here  the  elevation  is  less,  iooo  to  850 
feet.  Quartzite  is  most  numerous,  and  some  fragments  have 
that  peculiar  shape  so  characteristic  of  glaciated  boulders, 
one  side  being  rough  and  broken,  the  others  smooth  and 
rounded.  Here  also  occurred  a  small  piece  of  basalt,  and 
a  large  pebble  of  pink  flint.  At  Pike  Hill  Moss  the  pebbles 
will  be  found  on  the  floor  of  the  peat  holes,  whilst  in  a  small 
stream  just  north  of  May  Moss  they  again  occur.  At  the 
time  of  writing  I  have  not  yet  been  able  to  examine  other 
parts  of  the  moors  with  sufficient  care  for  further  traces  of 
these  pebbles  ;  but  curiously  enough,  the  branch  of  Wheel- 
dale,  behind  Simon  Howe,  was  observed  to  be  quite  destitute 
of  them. 

Whence  have  these  pebbles  been  derived  ?  Three  pos- 
sible explanations  of  their  origin  suggest  themselves,  viz.  : — 
they  are  glacial ;  or  they  have  been  derived  from  higher 
strata  now  swept  away  ;  or  they  are  the  relics  of  post- 
Cretaceous  deposits  of  Eocene  age.  It  may  be  pointed 
out  that  quartzite  erratics  of  very  similar  appearance  are 
known  in  the  drift,  and  that  the  shape  of  some  specimens 
seems  to  indicate  a  glacial  origin.  But  if  the  pebbles  have 
been  deposited  by  the  ice  where  we  now  find  them,  it  would 
mean  an  ice  invasion  to  a  height  of  1200  feet  at  Cock  Heads, 
and  an  extension  of  the  ice  margin  for  two  or  three  miles 
from  its  extreme  position  as  mapped  by  Professor  Kendall. 
That  Wheeldale  was  formerly  occupied  by  a  glacier-lake 
whose  surface  reached  an  altitude  of  1000  feet  is  rendered 
highly  probable  by  the  discovery  of  the  overflow  at  Slavey 
Slack,  previously  referred  to  in  the  chapter  on  the  Ice  Age. 
Hence  the  pebbles  on  the  high  northern  slopes  of  Rutmoor 
Beck  may  have  been  derived  from  small  bergs  floating  on 


Plioloby]  FlG.    48.-    ONE   01     mi  [Godfrey  Dinghy. 

Bride  Stones,  Staindale. 

The  Erosion  of  the  Moorland  Rocks 

the  waters  of  the  lake.  Similarly  in  the  valley  of  Eller 
Beck  near  May  Moss  there  may  have  been  a  more  advanced 
position  of  the  ice-front  which  obstructed  the  drainage  at 
a  greater  elevation  than  has  been  supposed.  But  the  pebbles 
near  Cock  Heads  seem  to  negative  these  conclusions  ;  for 
a  lake  to  have  existed  here  means  an  ice  invasion  up  Glaisdale 
far  beyond  the  725  foot  limits  of  Lake  Eskdale.  Moreover 
we  have  to  ask  ourselves  why  quartzite  is  the  most  abundant 
material,  and  why  such  erratics  as  Shap  Granite,  Carbonifer- 
ous Limestone,  or  Cheviot  Porphyrite  are  absent  ?  It  must 
nevertheless  be  admitted  that  there  are  various  indications 
of  a  higher  ice-front  in  this  part  of  Cleveland,  of  which 
some  of  the  pebbles  may  be  the  traces. 

The  second  explanation,  that  they  are  derived  from 
Jurassic  and  Cretaceous  rocks  formerly  covering  the  water- 
shed, is  negatived  by  the  fact  that  no  quartzite  bands  occur 
in  these  strata.  True  it  is  that  the  Fossiliferous  Grits  often 
contain  large  quartz  grains  ;  but  then  they  are  never  so 
large  as  these  pebbles,  and  are  of  a  different  appearance. 
The  flints,  however,  stand  on  a  different  footing,  for  they 
may  have  been  derived  from  the  Chalk,  which,  as  we  shall 
presently  see,  certainly  overlay  the  Oolites. 

The  third  explanation,  that  they  are  the  remains  of  Ter- 
tiary deposits  formed  during  the  upheaval  of  the  rocks  in 
post-Cretaceous  times,  is  not  unlikely.  For  be  it  noted 
that  similar  quartzite  pebbles  have  been  found  very  abun- 
dantly on  the  Wolds  by  Messrs.  Stather  and  Sheppard  ;  the 
origin  of  these  does  not  seem  to  be  glacial,  but  appears  to 
be  due  to  their  once  having  formed  part  of  a  long-lost 
Tertiary  deposit.*  So  far  as  the  moorlands  are  concerned 
it  may  have  so  happened  that  as  the  strata  rose  above  the 
sea  they  were  greatly  denuded  and  shore  deposits  formed, 
the  quartzite  pebbles  of  which  are  the  sole  survivors. 

As  regards  these  three  explanations  our  judgment  must 

*  Naturalist,   1904. 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

remain  suspended  until  further  investigations  have  been 
made  ;  but  it  is  not  unlikely  that  marine  denudation  played 
a  part  in  the  formation  of  the  peneplain  as  suggested  by 
Phillips,  and  seemingly  confirmed  by  the  pebbles. 

Here  we  have  to  recognise  the  fact  that  the  present  dis- 
tribution of  the  moorland  strata  is  due  to  the  following 
causes : — (i),  denudation  either  marine  or  sub-aerial  in 
Eocene  and  Oligocene  times,  reducing  the  district  to  a  base 
level  of  erosion  ;  (2),  an  uplift  in  Miocene  times  raising  this 
base  level  along  the  moorland  anticlinal ;  and  (3),  the 
erosion  of  this  mass  of  rocks  into  a  series  of  deep  valleys. 

The  area  occupied  by  the  different  strata  has  been  deter- 
mined by  their  character  and  by  the  length  of  time  during 
which  denudation  has  attacked  them.  Taking  them  since 
the  earliest  post-Cretaceous  elevation,  one  of  the  least  resis- 
tant, and  at  the  same  time  the  first  to  be  exposed,  the  Chalk, 
has  been  attacked  for  a  longer  period  than  any  of  the  others.* 
Consequently  it  has  totally  vanished  from  the  moorland 
area,  and  has  been  worn  back  to  its  present  position  on  the 
Wolds.  The  Kimmeridge  Clay,  another  soft  rock,  was  on 
its  exposure  not  only  rapidly  eroded,  but  it  facilitated  the 
erosion  of  the  Chalk  above  by  causing  it  to  be  undermined 
in  rivers  and  streams  and  along  inland  cliffs. 

The  Corallian  Series,  harder  than  the  Chalk,  has  been  less 
exposed,  and,  therefore,  not  worn  so  far  back,  whilst  the 
moorland  grits  and  sandstones,  the  hardest  rocks  of  the 
district,  have  been  the  last  to  be  uncovered  by  the  denuding 
agencies,  and  have  consequently  suffered  least  ;  hence  we 
find  them  occupying  a  larger  area  than  any  other  member 
of  the  Jurassic  system  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire. 

Passing  from  these  general  considerations  to  more  detailed 
explanations  of  the  distribution  of  the  moorland  rocks, 
we  must  go  back  to  the  period  of  the  Miocene  uplift.  What 
rocks  occupied  the  surface  at  that  time  can  only  be  con- 

*  The  Chalk  may  have  been  thinner  on  the  summit  of  the  anticline. 
See  Cowper  Reed,  op.  cit.,  p.  27. 


The  Erosion  of  the  Moorland  Rocks 

jectured.  Probably  the  Chalk  and  a  greater  part  of  the 
Kimmeridge  Clay  had  already  disappeared  from  the  highest 
moors,  though  as  previously  suggested,  a  thin  layer  of  Eocene 
deposits  here  and  there  existed.  The  distribution  of  the 
Jurassic  strata  below  the  Chalk  had  been  partly  determined 
by  the  erosion  they  underwent  in  pre-Cretaceous  ages,  to 
which  reference  has  already  been  made.  That  an  uplift 
took  place  in  Miocene  times  is  extremely  probable,  and  we 
may  mention  a  fact  in  support  of  it  which  appears  to 
have  been  overlooked  ;  and  that  is  the  circumstance  that 
both  the  Esk  and  the  Murk  Esk  traverse  the  line  of  the 
great  Cleveland  Dyke.  From  this  it  becomes  patent  that 
the  Dyke  is  older  than  these  two  rivers,  for  if  it  were  younger 
and  had  been  forced  up  across  their  beds  it  could  not  have 
failed  to  produce  some  marked  change  in  their  courses. 
Hence  it  follows  that  when  the  rivers  began  to  cut  down 
from  the  general  level  of  the  moors,  the  Dyke  had  already 
been  formed  and  was  probably  overlain  by  higher  strata 
on  which  the  rivers  began  to  flow.  Now  from  other  evidence 
it  has  been  concluded  that  the  Dyke  was  intruded  in  Miocene 
times,  a  period  of  great  volcanic  activity  in  the  west  of 
Scotland,  and  with  which  the  Dyke  can  be  connected.  The 
elevation  of  the  peneplain,  therefore,  took  place  either  con- 
temporaneously with  or  shortly  after  the  intrusion  of  the 
Dyke  during  the  Miocene  period. 

The  Miocene  uplift  tilted  the  strata  in  the  various  posi- 
tions we  now  find  them.  It  produced  the  moorland  anti- 
clinal, the  syncline  north  of  the  Esk,  and  various  minor 
rolls  and  faults  ;  though  probably  some  of  these  strati- 
graphical  features  were  accentuations  of  pre-  and  post- 
Cretaceous  lines  of  disturbance.  According  to  a  well-known 
law  of  erosion,  the  summits  of  anticlines  are  almost  invari- 
ably subjected  to  greater  denudation  than  the  troughs  of 
synclines.  Consequently  where  strata  are  thrown  into  a 
series  of  folds,  those  constituting  the  arches  are  worn  away 
before  those  of  the  hollows,  in  which  latter  younger  beds 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

are  usually  found  ;  and  on  the  moorland  area  this  principle 
very  largely  accounts  for  the  manner  in  which  the  various 
strata  occur. 

We  have  seen  that  as  we  approach  the  central  watershed 
from  the  Tabular  Hills,  older  and  older  beds  occupy  the 
surface.  Formerly  the  Lower  Calcareous  Grit  a  ad  the 
Kellaways  Rock  overspread  the  anticline  ;  but  being  sub- 
jected to  much  erosion  they  have  been  worn  back  in  a  series 
of  steps  or  waves.  The  familiar  agencies  of  rain,  frost, 
snow,  springs  and  rivers  have,  in  the  slow  lapse  of  ages, 
contributed  largely  to  carve  the  present  scenic  features  of 
the  moorlands.  Where  soft  shales  come  below  harder  beds, 
the  former,  being  more  easily  eroded,  cause  the  latter  to 
stand  out  in  a  most  prominent  manner. 

In  this  way  arose  the  magnificent  mural  rampart  of  the 
Tabular  Hills  (Fig.  45),  which,  with  the  plateau  of  the  Kella- 
ways Rock  at  its  base,  sweeps  along  the  southern  edge  of 
the  moors  in  a  bold  semicircle,  the  arms  of  which  at  Black 
Hambleton  (Fig.  46)  in  the  west  and  near  Saltersgate  (Fig. 
49)  in  the  east  seem  as  though  they  would  enclose  the  central 
moorlands  in  a  vast  embrace.  Looking  eastwards  from 
Snilesworth  Moor  we  observe  nab  after  nab  facing  north- 
wards like  a  line  of  couchant  sphinxes  for  ever  watching  the 
wild  moorlands.  From  the  circumstance  that  at  Black 
Hambleton  and  Whinny  Nab  near  Saltersgate,  the  escarp- 
ment extends  nearly  two  miles  further  north  than  at  Rie- 
vaulx,  Birk  Nab,  Gillamoor  and  Lastingham,  we  must  con- 
clude that  it  has  been  subjected  to  less  erosion  at  these  two 
points.  In  the  intermediate  area  the  degradation  has  been 
greater,  probably  owing  to  the  action  of  the  rivers  issuing 
from  the  great  dales,  the  Seph,  Hodge  Beck,  the  Dove  and 
the  Seven.  That  these  rivers  pass  through  the  escarpment 
proves  conclusively  that  when  they  originated  on  the  southern 
slope  of  the  anticline  after  the  Miocene  uplift,  the  Lower 
Calcareous  Grit  and  probably  some  of  the  true  Corallian 
strata  existed  up  to  and  beyond  the  watershed.      For  if 


The  Erosion  of  the  Moorland  Rocks 

the  great  rampart  had  been  in  existence  when  the  rivers 
began  to  flow  they  would  inevitably  have  travelled  along 
its  base.* 

In  the  course  of  ages,  outliers  have  become  detached  from 
the  escarpment  and  stand  in  front  of  it,  indicative  of  its 
former  extension  and  its  future  recession.  Perhaps  the  most 
imposing  of  these  outliers  are  those  in  Ryedale,  the  noble 
hills  of  Hawnby  and  Easterside,  which  owe  their  origin  to 
the  action  of  the  rivers.  Looking  at  the  map,  we  find  that 
the  two  hills  are  separated  from  one  another  by  Ladhill 
Beck,  and  from  the  escarpment  by  the  River  Rye  in  the 
case  of  Hawnby  Hill,  and  by  the  River  Seph  from  Bilsdale 
in  the  case  of  Easterside.  Uniting  south  of  the  outliers, 
the  three  rivers  have,  by  their  downward  cutting,  assisted 
by  lateral  atmospheric  erosion,  gradually  carved  out  the 
two  hills  whose  summits  are  remarkably  narrow,  and  whose 
sides  are  scarred  by  bare  rocky  landslips. 

South  of  May  Moss  towers  the  singular  hill  known  as 
Blakey  Topping,  whose  origin  is  clearly  traceable  (Fig.  47). 
This  outlier  consists  of  exactly  the  same  rocks  as  compose 
the  main  escarpment,  being  capped  with  the  Lower  Grit  and 
rising  out  of  the  broad  moorland  plateau  of  the  Kellaways 
Rock  which  fringes  the  foot  of  the  escarpment.  Between 
the  main  range  and  the  hill  flows  a  stream  which  has  carved 
out  the  valley  between  them  ;  whilst  another  stream  parallel 
to  the  first  flows  on  the  far  side  of  the  hill.  These  becks 
unite  below  the  outlier,  clearly  the  last  relic  of  the  ridge 
once  separating  them,  a  fact  further  proved  by  the  long 
axis  of  Blakey  being  parallel  to  the  streams,  a  feature  also 
shown  by  the  outliers  in  Ryedale.  The  recession  of  the 
Corallian  escarpment  on  the  north-east  beheaded  these 
streams,  and  led  to  the  complete  isolation  of  the  outlier 
which  has  been  reduced  to  its  present  dimensions  by  the 
usual  factors  of  erosion. 

*  Fox-Strangways,  op.  cit.,  p.  419. 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

In  some  places  we  can  follow  the  intermediate  stages 
leading  to  the  formation  of  these  singular  outliers.  Thus, 
just  west  of  Blakey  Topping,  is  a  spur  of  the  Tabular  Hills 
known  as  Whinny  Nab  (the  name  Saltersgate  crosses  it  on 
the  map),  and  here  we  find  that  a  small  stream  flowing  at 
the  eastern  foot  of  the  escarpment  is  only  separated  by  a 
very  narrow  neck  or  col  from  the  western  side  of  the  escarp- 
ment. In  time  this  neck  will  be  cut  through  by  the  gradual 
growth  of  the  stream  headwards,  until  the  nab  will  form  an 
outlier  like  Blakey.  A  further  stage  is  represented  by  Coomb 
Hill  between  Arden  and  Hawnby,  which  is  an  outlier  of 
Lower  Calcareous  Grit  separated  from  the  main  outcrop  by 
a  narrow  valley,  the  floor  of  which  is  occupied  by  the  Kella- 
ways  Rock. 

The  largest  of  these  outliers  is  that  of  Hackness  and  Silpho 
Moors,  which  owes  its  origin  to  the  same  causes,  viz.  :  the 
action  of  the  rivers  on  all  sides.  The  narrow  and  lengthy 
ridge  of  Langdale  has  resulted  from  the  erosion  of  Hipper 
Beck  on  the  western  side,  and  the  River  Derwent  on  the 
eastern  side.  The  great  gorge  through  which  the  latter 
river  now  travels  was  formed  during  the  Ice  Age  (see  Chapter 
VIII.).  It  therefore  follows  that  the  outlier  of  Langdale 
did  not  exist  in  pre-glacial  times  in  this  respect  differing 
from  every  other  outlier  of  the  Tabular  Hills,  which  arose 
long  before  the  advent  of  the  Glacial  Period. 

Beyond  Saltersgate  and  Whinny  Nab,  the  Tabular  Hills 
form  another  embayment  at  Cross-cliff,  sweeping  north 
along  the  remarkable  ridge  of  Langdale.  We  find  that  this 
recess  coincides  with  the  presence  of  three  rivers,  Grain  Beck, 
Stockdale  Beck,  and  Hipper  Beck,  which  flow  through  it 
and  join  the  Derwent  at  Langdale  End.  Grain  Beck,  after 
rising  in  May  Moss  and  flowing  south  to  the  foot  of  the 
escarpment,  then  runs  along  its  base  as  Black  Beck,  and  this 
must  undoubtedly  have  conduced  to  the  recession  of  the 
Tabular  Hills  at  this  point. 

Owing  to  the  Moor  Grit  and  the  Fossiliferous  Grit  not 



Fig.  49. — Whinny  N'ab,  a  Spur  of    i 
Tabular  Hills,   near  Saltersgate. 

[Frank  I    \ 

1  h 

Fig.  '       1  ern  Si  op)  s  01    rm    Holi 

l  [qr(  1  m.   1  South. 


The  Erosion  of  the  Moorland  Rocks 

being  underlain  by  any  considerable  thickness  of  soft  shales, 
they  only  form  a  comparatively  inconspicuous  scarp  on  the 
moors  between  Bilsdale  and  Rosedale.  Moreover,  being 
excessively  hard,  they  have  resisted  denudation  more 
successfully,  and  consequently  occur  as  small  outliers  on 
many  parts  of  the  moors,  as  on  Burton  Head,  at  Bloworth 
Crossing,  between  Bilsdale  and  Bransdale,  and  else- 

A  journey  along  the  road  from  Hutton-le-Hole  to  Rosedale 
affords  an  excellent  opportunity  for  observing  the  btrati- 
graphical  features  of  the  moors  at  the  base  of  the  Tabular 
Hills.  Descending  the  steep  slope  of  the  escarpment  from 
Yoadwath  to  Hutton  village,  and  going  along  the  road  at 
its  foot,  we  pass  from  a  warm  rich  land  to  a  cold  and  poor 
one.  On  our  left  rises  the  slope  of  Hutton  Knoll,  corres- 
ponding to  the  outcrop  of  the  Kellaways  Rock,  whilst  away 
to  the  east  lies  Spaunton  Knoll  composed  of  the  same  bed. 
A  glance  at  the  scarp  of  Spaunton  Knoll  and  the  Tabular 
escarpment  to  the  south  shows  that  it  is  actually  higher 
than  the  latter,  a  feature  also  exhibited  by  Askew  Rigg, 
Lastingham  Knoll  and  Hutton  Knoll,  and  first  pointed 
out  by  Mr.  Fox-Strangways.  On  reaching  Loskey  Bridge 
over  Loskey  Beck  we  find  that  we  are  on  the  top  beds  of 
the  Upper  Estuarine  Series  below  the  Cornbrash,  and  a  good 
section  is  exposed  below  the  Knoll  on  the  eastern  side  of 
the  stream.  Still  ascending  the  road  we  leave  the  scarp  of 
the  Kellaways  Rock  on  our  right  and  reach  Spindle  Thorn, 
the  ridge  of  Upper  Estuarine  rocks  between  Loskey  Beck 
and  Barker  Slack.  About  a  mile  from  Spaunton  Knoll 
another  scarp  appears  above  the  level  of  the  moors,  that 
of  the  Moor  Grit  with  the  Fossiliferous  Grit  below.  Looking 
east  we  see  a  prominent  tongue  of  the  same  strata  running 
northwards  to  Ana  Cross  which  stands  on  the  very  edge 
of  the  scarp.  Similar  features  occur  nearly  everywhere  at 
the  base  of  the  Tabular  Hills,  and  all  indicate  in  the  clearest 
possible  manner  the  relation  of  the  dip  of  the  rocks  to  the 

209  o 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

surface  topography,  and  to  the  courses  of  the  streams  flowing 
southwards.     (See  sections). 

That  younger  strata  are  preserved  in  the  troughs  of 
synclines  is  apparent  when  we  recall  the  succession  of 
dominant  strata  as  we  proceed  eastwards  from  Botton 
Head.  The  greater  elevation  at  the  latter  point  has  caused 
greater  erosion  to  take  place  there,  so  that  the  Lower 
Estuarines  occupy  the  surface.  As  the  anticline  dips  east- 
wards, younger  and  younger  beds  come  to  prevail  upon 
the  moors  until  the  wide  Upper  Estuarine  Series  of  Sleights 
Moor  is  reached,  and  this  district,  being  the  lower  part  of 
the  dip,  has  been  comparatively  less  eroded. 

In  North  Cleveland  we  observe  similar  phenomena.  The 
Lower  Estuarine  Series  dominates  on  Great  Ayton,  Newton 
and  Guisborough  Moors,  and  is  followed  by  a  large  spread 
of  Upper  Estuarine  Beds  at  lower  levels  on  Stanghow  and 
Danby  Low  Moors.  Here,  however,  we  meet  with  a  large 
outlier  of  Kellaways  Rock  lying  in  a  synclinal  trough,  and 
coming  to  the  surface  on  Moorsholm,  Girrick,  Easington, 
Wapley,  and  Lealholm  Moors,  a  striking  illustration  of  the 
preservation  of  younger  beds  in  such  depressions.  The  out- 
crop of  the  Kellaways  Rock  is  finely  displayed  on  these 
moors.  Danby  Beacon,  as  seen  from  the  west,  exhibits  a 
flat-topped  boss,  a  small  outlier  of  the  Kellaways  Rock. 
To  the  north  is  a  shallow  hollow  of  Upper  Estuarine  Beds 
followed  by  another  slight  rise  to  another  flat-topped  boss, 
the  Kellaways  Rock  again  ;  and  on  Danby  Low  Moor  a 
marked  ridge — Elm  Ledge — indicates  the  southern  edge 
of  the  same  formation.  On  Moorsholm  Moor  it  occurs  in 
large  patches  on  slopes  ;  and  also  caps  the  summit  of  Free- 
brough  Hill,  east  of  which  it  has  been  faulted  down  against 
the  Upper  Estuarines  of  Stanghow  Moor.  The  distant  slopes 
beyond  the  head  of  Ewe  Crag  Slack  in  Fig.  22  consist  of  this 

The  Kellaways  Rock  shows  very  clearly  the  relationship 
of  synclines  to  outliers,  though  some  of   these  latter  are 



Photo  by] 

I'i<      51.     Win  ii:k  Gii.i  ,  Gi  usdai  i  . 


Photo  by] 

Fig.   sj.     Baysd  vle   beli  i\v   Hou  Hole. 


The  Erosion  of  the  Moorland  Rocks 

partially  due  to  its  greater  durability.     On  Cropton  Moor 
there  are  two  patches  of   the  rock  at  Keldy  Grain  ;    there 
is  another  in  the  form  of  a  prominent  hill  at  Trigger  Castle 
on  Pickering  Moor  ;   a  fourth  occurs  on  Simon  Howe  above 
Goathland.     East  of  the  Murk  Esk  there  are  four,  Stony 
Rigg  between  Woof  Howe  Grain  and  the  River  Derwent  ; 
a  second  on   Lownorth   Moor   between   the   Derwent   and 
Bloody  Beck  ;  a  very  small  one  above  Harwood  Dale  shown 
in  the  photograph,   (Fig.  44),    and  a  larger  one  at  Blea  Hill 
Rigg  on  the  moors  at  the  head  of  Iburndale  where  the  Cleve- 
land Dyke  terminates.     The  outliers  at  Trigger  Castle  and 
Blea  Hill  Rigg  lie  in  synclinal  troughs,  but  this  does  not 
mean  that  they  exist  in  actual  depressions.     Far  from  it. 
Blea  Hill  Rigg,  lying  between  Blea  Hill  Beck  and  Jugger 
Howe  Dale,  forms,  as  its  name  indicates,  a  distinct  moorland 
spur  on  either  side  of  which  the  rocks  dip  inwards  ;    the 
slope  and  elevation  of  the  outlier  being  due  to  the  usual 
factors  of  erosion.  And  similarly  with  Trigger  Castle,  where, 
however,  one  side  of  the  syncline  has  been  severed  by  Rut- 
moor  Beck  and  swept  away.     Looking  at   the  hill  from 
the  east  we  see  that  the  dip  of  the  summit  is  to  the  north, 
whereas  the  rocks  on  the  other  side  of  the  stream  possess  the 
usual  southerly  dip  of  the  rocks  south  of  the  watershed. 
(See  section). 

The  outliers  of  this  rock  on  Lownorth  Moor  are  the  last 
relics  of  a  continuous  sheet  reduced  to  its  present  fragmen- 
tary condition  by  the  action  of  the  rivers  and  the  atmosphere 
on  the  slopes.  The  illustration  in  Fig.  44  shows  the  neat 
character  of  these  singular  outliers  which  look  like  huge 
slabs  laid  horizontally  upon  the  surface  of  the  moors.  At 
one  time  in  their  history,  the  little  bosses  of  Kellaways 
Rock  would  be  capped  with  the  Lower  Calcareous  Grit, 
and  the  moors  would  then  have  appeared  even  more  pictur- 
esque than  they  do  to-day,  since  all  the  outliers  would  be 
much  higher,  closely  resembling  Blakey  Topping  and  the 
hills  in  the  valley  of  the  Rye.     The  occurrence  of  these 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

outliers  not  only  proves  the  former  continuous  extension 
of  the  Kellaways  Rock  over  the  moorland  area,  and  by 
parity  of  reasoning,  the  former  extension  of  the  Corallian 
rocks  and  the  Chalk,  but  it  naturally  suggests  that  some 
fragments  of  higher  strata  may  yet  be  detected  upon 
the  Estuarine  Series.  As  the  younger  and  higher  beds 
were  gradually  worn  away,  it  may  have  so  happened  that 
harder  fragments  so  obstinately  resisted  erosion  as  to  have 
slowly  settled  down  upon  the  lower  beds  though  all  traces  of 
their  parent  rock  had  vanished.  This  has  occurred  in  other 
parts  of  the  country,  and  it  may  be  possible  that  some  of  the 
pebbles  of  flint  referred  to  at  the  beginning  of  the  chapter, 
are  survivors  from  that  remote  time  when  the  Chalk  with  its 
snowy  mantle  covered  the  site  of  the  black  and  peaty  wastes 
of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire. 



THE  present  distribution  of  the  rocks  has  been 
produced  by  the  action  of  atmospheric  and 
river  erosion  upon  the  varied  strata  of  the  moors, 
and  it  will  readily  be  seen  that  these  causes 
have  largely  assisted  in  modifying  the  character  of 
the  moorland  vegetation.  By  exposing  shaley  rocks  in 
one  part,  sandstone  rocks  in  another,  and  limestones  in  a 
third,  these  agencies  have  enabled  adapted  types  of  vegeta- 
tion to  colonise  the  ground  ;  but  there  is  still  another 
influence  that  has  led  to  the  distribution  of  plants  on  the 
Eastern  Moorlands — the  great  dales  with  their  tributary  gills 
and  ravines.  For  these  beautiful  valleys,  perhaps  the  most 
characteristic  feature  of  Cleveland  scenery,  cut  up  the 
Jurassic  tableland  in  a  surprising  way,  leaving  wedges  and 
spurs  of  heather-clad  land  projecting  from  the  watersheds. 
Their  streams  have  largely  aided  in  the  carrying  away  of 
the  moorland  rocks  and  in  giving  rise  to  moorland  slopes. 
Moreover,  many  of  the  dales  may  have  acted  as  lines  of 
immigration  for  plants  and  animals,  after  the  close  of  the 
Ice  Age. 

The  same  factors  which  led  to  the  erosion  of  the  rocks 
also  led  to  the  origin  of  the  dales.  In  the  words  of 
Sir  Archibald  Geikie,  "  in  no  part  of  England  is  the  relation 
of  the  surface  topography  to  the  nature  of  the  underlying 
rocks  more  instructively  displayed  than  in  this  district  ;  the 
strata  being  nearly  horizontal  and  little  disturbed  by  dis- 
locations, the  valleys  radiating  from  the  tableland  can  be 
traced  out  as  the  results  of  erosion  with  a  precision  and 
completeness  unattainable  in  other  parts  of  the  country 
where  the  geological  structure  is  less  simple." 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Writing  in  1876,  Messrs.  Tate  and  Blake  considered 
that  the  initial  stages  of  the  dales  were  lines  of  fracture 
produced  by  the  uplift  along  the  anticlinal,  that  denudation 
worked  along  the  cracks  that  were  thus  formed,  and  that 
the  heads  of  some  of  the  dales  are  lines  of  fracture  still, 
notably  Baysdale,  Bransdale,  and  Tripsdale  (Bilsdale  East).* 
It  is  not,  however,  necessary  to  invoke  the  aid  of  fractures 
to  account  for  the  courses  of  the  streams  and  the  valleys 
in  which  they  flow.  Mr.  Fox-Strangways  was  perhaps 
the  first  to  point  out  that  the  dales  have  simply  arisen  on 
the  slope  of  the  rocks  after  their  upheaval,  no  cracks  being 
produced  so  far  as  we  at  present  know  ;  minor  irregularities 
would  no  doubt  determine  the  somewhat  variable  courses 
of  the  streams,  as  may  be  witnessed  on  any  clayey  or  sandy 
slope  after  rain.f 

Mr.  F.  R.  Cowper  Reed  has  ably  discussed  the  history  of 
the  dale  streams  in  his  "  Geological  History  of  the  Rivers 
of  East  Yorkshire,"  which  he  divides  into  the  following  six 
stages  or  cycles  : — 

First  Cycle.— Initiation  of  the  river  system  on  a  land 
surface  after  the  Cretaceous  uplift.  These  rivers 
flowed  from  east  to  west,  and  are  now  represented 
by  the  western  dales  of  Swaledale,  etc.  The  course 
of  the  Esk  and  the  Vale  of  Pickering  are  probably 
relics  of  this  stage. 
Second  Cycle.— Elevation  of  the  base  level  of  erosion 
during  the  Miocene  period  ;  origination  of  the  moor- 
land anticlinal  .  During  this  stage  and  to  the  close 
of  the  Pliocene  period  the  sculpture  of  the  dales 
took  place. 
Third  Cycle. — Period  of  temporary  subsidence  at  close 
of  Pliocene  drowning  the  lower  reaches  of  the  streams; 
but  this  stage  is  of  no  importance  to  us  here. 

*  "  The  Yorkshire  Lias,"  p.  195- 

|  "  Jurassic  Rocks  of  Yorkshire  "  ;  also  "  Valleys  of  North-East 
Yorkshire  and  their  Mode  of  Formation,"  Transactions  Leicester  Phil. 
Soc,  1894. 


The  Origin  of  the  Dales 


Fourth  Cycle. — The  Ice  Age  and  its  effects  upon  the 
river  system  in  post-glacial  times.     This  stage  we 
have  already  dealt  with,  so  far  as  it  concerns  the 
Fifth  and  sixth  Cycles  are  of  very  minor  significance. 
Though  in  these  pages  we  are  not  so  much  concerned 
with  the  history  of  the  rivers  as  with  the  effects  they  have 
wrought  upon  the  rocks  and  scenery  of  the  moors,  yet  we 
have   thought   it   advisable   to  summarise   Mr.   Reed's  re- 
searches for  they  are  of  invaluable  assistance  in  ascertaining 
the  time  when  the  dales  originated. 

The  dip  of  the  rocks  has  been  the  main  cause  in  deter- 
mining the  direction  and  course  of  the  dales,  whilst  erosion 
by  the  streams  and  atmospheric  agencies  have  excavated 
them.  The  easterly  dip  of  the  post-Cretaceous  land 
surface  gave  rise  to  the  direction  of  the  valleys  of  the 
Esk  and  Kildale  ;  that  of  the  northern  and  southern  slopes 
of  the  anticlinal  to  the  dales  radiating  from  the  central 
watershed.  As  Mr.  Cowper  Reed  has  shown,  some  streams 
arose  after  the  first  post-Cretaceous  uplift,  the  Esk  probably 
being  one.  On  the  formation  of  the  peneplain  and  its 
Miocene  upheaval  the  rivers  received  a  new  lease  of  life  ; 
they  began  to  cut  down  into  the  Jurassic  tableland,  and 
thus  the  first  steps  in  the  origin  of  the  dales  were  taken. 
The  southern  dip  initiated  Ryedale,  Bilsdale,  Bransdale, 
Farndale  and  Rosedale  ;  the  northern  dip  initiated  Bays- 
dale,  Westerdale,  Danby  Dale,  Fryup  Dales,  Glaisdale, 
Egton  Grange,  the  Murk  Esk  Valley  and  Iburndale. 

It  is  probable  that  the  dale-river  system  commenced 
its  erosive  work,  after  the  Miocene  uplift,  on  the  rocks  of 
the  Corallian  Series  ;  a  fact  proved  by  the  circumstance 
already  noted,  that  the  southern  streams  invariably  break 
through  the  escarpment  of  the  Tabular  Hills.  It  would 
take  some  ages  for  these  rocks  to  be  penetrated,  and  for- 
tunately in  the  Hole  of  Horcum  and  other  valleys  on  the 
Tabular  Hills,  we  have  instances  of  what  the  southern  dales 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

were  probably  like  at  an  early  period  of  their  existence. 
Lying  on  the  moors  of  the  Tabular  Hills  above  Saltersgate, 
the  Hole  of  Horcum  is  a  large  basin-shaped  hollow  two  or 
three  hundred  feet  deep  and  quite  half-a-mile  in  length 
(Fig.  50).     Round  the  summit  runs  the  Lower  Calcareous 
Grit,  along  its  slopes  is  the  Oxford  Clay,  and  forming  its 
floor    is    the    Kellaways    Rock.     Where    Levisham    Beck, 
which  rises  in  the  Hole,  escapes  to  the  south,  the  valley  con- 
tracts very  markedly,  and  the  remaining  portion  of  the  course 
of  the  stream  lies  in  a  narrow  gorge  falling  into  Newton  Dale. 
To  explain  the  origin  of  this  remarkable  feature  of  moor- 
land topography  is  simple,  for  here,  as  in  every  other  case 
of  erosion  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  a  solution  is  to  be 
found  in  the  relation  of  the  stream  to  the  character  and  dip 
of  the  rocks.     In  the  Hole  of  Horcum,  Levisham  Beck  has 
cut  down  to  the  Kellaways  Rock  through  the  Lower  Calcare- 
ous Grit  and  Oxford  Clay,  whereas  in  the  gorge-like  part  of 
its  course  the  stream  flows  over  the  grit  itself  and  has  the 
Passage  Beds  and  Lower  Limestone  constituting  its  slopes. 
In  these  facts  we  have  the  clue  to  its  origin.     Penetrating 
the  grit  at  its  head,  the  beck  upon  reaching  the  Oxford  Clay 
would  be  assisted  in  its  eroding  power  by  springs  thrown 
out  at  the  junction  of  the  clay  with  the  grit,  and  this  would 
cause  denudation  on  the  slopes  to  proceed  more  rapidly. 
This  cause  would  be  accelerated  by  a  further  cause,  the  soft 
nature  of  the  Oxford  Clay,  which,  being  readily  eroded, 
would  also  yield  along  lines  of  joint,  and  lead  to  the  collapse 
of  the  superincumbent  rocks.     Thus,  on  all  sides,  the  Hole 
would  gradually  be  enlarged  until  it  attained  its  present 
dimensions.     Downstream,    however,    the    Calcareous    Grit 
is  brought  to  the  bed  of  the  river  by  the  southerly  dip,  and 
is  there  capped  by  the  hard  Passage  Beds  and  Lower  Lime- 
stone.    Consequently,   although  in   the   gorge   the  stream 
has  penetrated  the  same  thickness  of  rock  as  in  the  Hole 
of  Horcum,  it  has  not  yet  reached  the  Oxford  Clay.     Erosion, 
therefore,    would    proceed    at    a    much    slower   rate,    for 















The  Origin  of  the  Dales 

though  the  downward  cutting  power  of  the  stream  is  even 
greater,  owing  to  the  augmented  volume  of  water,  the  action 
of  springs  on  the  valley  sides  would  be  practically  very  small, 
the  result  being  that  the  slopes  would  not  be  worn  away  so 
rapidly  as  in  the  Hole  of  Horcum. 

This  type  of  valley  is  really  not  uncommon  on  the  moor- 
lands, as  we  shall  presently  see.  The  valleys  of  the  Tabular 
Hills,  however,  are  generally  narrow  and  gorge-like,  and 
even  where  their  floor  and  slopes  consist  of  the  Oxford  Clay 
they  are  never  as  wide  as  the  great  dales  carved  out  of  the 
softer  and  thicker  beds  of  the  Lias.  A  comparison  of  the 
character  of  the  valleys  made  by  the  rivers  out  of  Brans- 
dale,  Farndale  and  Rosedale,  where  these  flow  over  the  Lias 
in  their  upper  reaches  and  over  the  Corallian  Rocks  in  their 
lower  reaches,  proves  this.  Moreover,  a  glance  at  the  map 
shows  that  the  dale-streams,  where  they  cross  the  Tabular 
Hills,  traverse  wider  valleys  when  the  Oxford  Clay  forms 
their  floor,  than  when  the  Corallian  Rocks  lower  down 
stream  outcrop  on  the  floors  and  sides.  This  is  in  perfect 
consonance  with  what  we  have  just  seen  is  characteristic 
of  the  Hole  of  Horcum.  Another  peculiarity  of  the  valleys 
of  the  Tabular  Hills  is  their  innumerable  tributaries  forming 
branch  dales  of  great  complexity.  Those  on  the  Hackness 
outlier  are  a  noteworthy  instance  and  were  compared  to 
a  stag's  horn  by  the  Father  of  English  geology,  William 

In  this  respect  Thornton  Dale  is  more  remarkable.  The 
dale  itself  runs  due  north  and  south  along  the  dip  of  the 
Middle  Oolites  ;  its  head  branch  being  Staindale  which 
flows  east  and  west.  Between  Staindale  and  Pexton  Moor 
(see  map),  Thornton  Dale  on  the  west  has  no  tributary 
valleys  falling  into  it  ;  but  on  the  eastern  side  there  are  no 
less  than  six  (not  including  Staindale),  viz.  :  Sieve  Dale, 
Snever  Dale,  Low  Dalby  Dale,  Flax  Dale,  Heck  Dale,  and 

*  "  Memoir  on   the  Stratification  of  the   Hackness   Hills."     Pub- 
lished for  the  first  time  in  the  "  Jurassic  Rocks  of  Yorkshire." 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Sand  Dale,  the  latter  being  bifurcated  at  its  head.  Except 
Sand  Dale  all  these  valleys  are  practically  streamless,  and 
whatever  waters  they  once  contained  flowed  over  the  Lower 
Calcareous  Grit.  Mr.  Cowper  Reed  would  attribute  them  to 
the  complicated  outcrops  of  the  strata  induced  by  a  synclinal 
fold  running  across  Allerston  Low  Moor  to  Lockton  and 
Levisham.  He  is  further  of  the  opinion  that  they  were 
formed  towards  the  end  of  his  second  cycle  of  river  develop- 
ment, that  is  to  say,  towards  the  end  of  the  Pliocene  period, 
after  all  the  main  features  of  the  surface  had  been  developed.* 
However  this  may  be,  the  most  mysterious  aspect  of  these 
tributaries  is  their  number  and  the  limited  size  of  the  gather- 
ing grounds  or  watershed,  an  aspect  that  is  rendered  even 
more  mysterious  by  the  reflection  that  eastwards  of  Sand 
Dale,  between  that  valley  and  the  village  of  East  Ayton, 
the  following  valleys  also  rise  on  the  same  watershed,  and 
flow  down  the  slopes  of  the  Corallian  Rocks  and  debouch 
into  the  Vale  of  Pickering,  viz.  :  Given  Dale,  Ox  Dale,  Keck 
Dale,  Netherby  Dale,  Wydale,  Brompton  Dale,  Sawdon 
Dale,  Bee  Dale,  and  Yedman  Dale.  Altogether  and  in- 
cluding Staindale,  there  are  no  less  than  seventeen  valleys 
draining  a  watershed  that  is  about  eight  miles  in  length  and 
extremely  narrow  ;  the  distance  between  the  head  of  Given- 
dale  and  Troutsdale  is  barely  half-a-mile.  As  many  of 
them  are  dry,  it  is  likely  that  some  of  the  streams  have 
disappeared  underground,  so  often  the  case  with  rivers 
on  limestone  rocks,  as  may  be  seen  where  those  from  the 
great  dales  cross  the  Corallian  strata.  But  why  should 
Thornton  Dale  have  six  lateral  branches  on  one  side  only, 
and  that  side  just  a  little  over  three  miles  long  ?  Some 
factor  seems  to  have  operated  here  which  we  have  not  yet 
been  able  to  discover.  Doubtless  a  more  careful  examina- 
tion of  the  ground  will  reveal  this  factor  ;  but  this  part  of 
the  moors  is  certainly  unique,  the  nearest  approach  to  it 

*  Op.  cit.,  p.  81-82. 










The  Origin  of  the  Dales 


being  perhaps  the  branches  of  the  Rye  between  Sproxton 
and  Old  Byland. 

Returning  once  more  to  a  consideration  of  the  great  dales, 
the  probability  is  that  the  erosive  work  began  on  Corallian 
or  even  higher  strata  during  the  Miocene  uplift  ;  and 
doubtless  the  upper  reaches  of  the  streams  then  resembled 
those  sections  of  their  courses  where  they  now  cut  through 
the  Tabular  Hills,  whilst  in  places  there  would  be  features 
as  seen  to-day  in  the  Hole  of  Horcum. 

In  the  course  of  ages,  the  Corallian  and  Callovian  strata 
would  be  penetrated,  removed  from  the  arch  of  the  anti- 
clinal, and  the  escarpment  of  the  Tabular  Hills  formed. 
The  streams  on  both  sides  of  the  watershed  would  then 
begin  to  excavate  the  hard  rocks  of  the  Inferior  Oolite,  a 
stage  still  represented  by  the  head-waters  of  many  of  the 
dales.  Here  we  observe  shallow  gathering  grounds  through 
the  lengths  of  which  meander  the  tiny  streams.  These 
aspects  of  a  dale  can  be  well  seen  at  the  source  of  Grain 
Beck  in  Baysdale  and  at  the  two  heads  of  Tripsdale. 

When  the  Upper  Lias  is  reached,  however,  the  downward 
cutting  power  of  the  streams  is  facilitated  by  the  soft  shaley 
rocks  of  this  formation,  and  the  appearance  of  the  dale 
changes.  Two  slopes  can  now  be  detected  in  the  valley 
sides — a  steep  slope  rising  from  the  stream  and  corresponding 
to  the  Alum  Shale  outcrop,  and  a  gentle  shelving  slope 
rising  to  the  flat  moor  top,  and  marking  the  outcrop  of  the 
Oolite.  Such  ravines  form  the  most  charming  and  pictur- 
esque haunts  upon  the  moors.  Bubbling  over  blocks  of 
grit  and  sandstone  flows  the  moorland  stream,  the  steep 
slopes  are  clothed  with  gnarled  Birch  and  Oaks  mottled  with 
grey  lichens,  craggy  cliffs  cap  the  steep  and  sometimes  bare 
shale  screes,  and  tongues  and  feelers  of  dark  Ling  thrust 
downwards  over  the  grey  heaps  of  debris.  Among  many 
such  valleys  may  be  named  Hograh,  Grain  Beck  (Fig.  53), 
Clough  Gill,  Winter  Gill  (Fig.  51),  and  Tripsdale. 

Still  further  downstream  we  enter  the  dale  properly  so- 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

called.  Here  the  increased  volume  of  water  and  the  softer 
Liassic  rocks  have  caused  the  valleys  to  be  eroded  much 
more  widely.  In  most  of  the  dales  the  Lower  Lias  occupies 
the  floor  ;  but  in  Glaisdale  this  consists  of  the  Middle  Lias, 
whilst  in  Baysdale  and  Egton  Grange  the  Upper  Lias  out- 
crops. Tate  and  Blake,  in  their  great  work  on  the  "  York- 
shire Lias,"  long  ago  pointed  out  that  the  prevalent  easterly 
dip  causes  landslips  more  frequently  to  happen  on  the 
western  side  of  the  dales  than  on  the  eastern,  owing  to  the 
rocks  more  readily  giving  way  along  lines  of  joint.  In 
Danby  Dale,  near  the  solitary  cottage  known  as  St.  Helena, 
a  long  ledge  runs  along  the  western  side  of  the  valley,  where 
extensive  slips  of  rock  from  the  edge  of  Castleton  Rigg  have 
taken  place.  Large  heaps  of  debris  are  scattered  along 
the  outside  margin  of  the  ledge,  on  the  inside  of  which  peat 
has  accumulated,  and  from  which  our  picture  of  the  Cotton 
Grass  in  fruit  was  obtained.  More  striking  are  the  immense 
slips  at  Great  Fryup  head  on  the  western  slope,  where  an 
irregular  confusion  of  huge  mounds  and  deep  depressions, 
caused  by  large  landslips  from  the  cliffs  above,  is  known 
as  Fryup  Hills.  The  material  that  thus  crashes  down  the 
slopes  at  long  intervals  is  attacked  by  atmospheric  erosive 
agents  and  bit  by  bit  carried  away  by  the  rain  to  lower 
levels,  as  may  be  seen  after  every  shower,  until  the  fragments 
ultimately  reach  the  stream  and  are  thence  borne  to  the  sea. 

At  the  summit  of  the  dales  we  find  a  bold  cliff  of  sandstone 
followed  by  a  slope  answering  to  the  Upper  Lias  shales  ; 
though  the  latter  in  places  is  much  obscured  by  fallen  debris 
from  the  crags  above.  Next  comes  a  much  steeper  and 
more  conspicuous  scarp  corresponding  to  the  hard  beds  of 
ironstone  and  sandstone  of  the  Middle  Lias,  to  be  finally 
succeeded  by  the  slopes  of  the  lowermost  shales  merging 
into  the  floor  of  the  dale.  Let  us  now  examine  some  peculiar- 
ities of  these  interesting  valleys. 

Farndale  and  Rosedale  have  a  decided  trend  to  the  south- 
east, apparently  due  to  the  combined  effects  of  the  two  dip 











»— i 







The  Origin  of  the  Dales 


slopes — that  to  the  south  from  the  anticline,  and  that  of  the 
anticline  itself  towards  the  east.     The  southern  dip  brings 
the  Inferior  Oolite  down  to  stream  level  in  the  southern 
dales,  for  a  mile  or  more  before  they  break  through  the 
Tabular   Hills.     Here  the  valleys  become  much  narrower 
and  shallower  than  where  they  traverse  the  Lias,  and  in 
fact  we  have  a  repetition  of  the  same  features  which  make 
the  Hole  of  Horcum  so  remarkable,  namely  the  valleys  are 
wider  in  their  upper  than  in  their  lower  parts.     Some  of  the 
northern    dales   possess   similar    characteristics.     The    two 
Fryups,  Glaisdale  and    Egton  Grange,  trend  north-east  in 
accordance  with  the  dips  ;    but  the  most  striking  instance 
is  Baysdale,  which,  after  running  due  northwards,  suddenly 
turns    eastwards    and    joins    Westerdale    near    Castleton. 
Naturally  one  would  have  thought  that  the  valley  would 
continue   northwards   and   coalesce   with   the   Esk-Kildale 
valley,  for  this  would  have  been  in  unison  with  the  northern 
dip.     Evidently,   however,   the  eastern   inclination   of  the 
rocks,  joined  with  some  irregularity  of  the  original  surface, 
has  determined  the  eastern  direction  of  its  lower  reaches. 
On  the  south  side  of  this  part  of  the  dale,  and  crossing  the 
road  from  Hob  Hole  to  Westerdale,  is  a  curious  shallow  dry 
valley,  which,  running  eastwards,  finally  curves  round  and 
joins  the  main  dale  at  a  high  level.     Probably  this  singular 
little  channel  may  be  the  relic  of  a  former  course  of  the 
stream  when  it  flowed  at  a  higher  level,  and  before  it  had 
cut  deep  into  the  Jurassic  platform.     At  the  junction  of 
Baysdale  with  Westerdale  at  Dibble  Bridge,  we  find  two 
parallel  north  and  south  faults,  trough  faults  as  they  are 
termed,  which  let  down  the  Oolite  between  them,  and  also 
between  which  flows  the  Esk  from  Westerdale.     The  Bays- 
dale  stream  cuts  across  the  westernmost     fault,  a  feature 
that  proves  nothing  as  to  the  relative  ages  of  either  the  one 
or  the  other,  for  on  the  formation  of  the  fault  after  the  stream 
had  commenced  to  flow,  it  would  only  lower  the  rocks  at 
its  exit.     If  the  fault  originated  before  the  stream,  it  would 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

either  be  covered  with  higher  beds,  through  which  the 
stream  would  cut  down  across  the  fault,  or  the  water  would 
flow  over  a  fault  scarp  as  before.  By  bringing  down  the 
hard  sandstones  of  the  Inferior  Oolite  at  the  mouth  of  Wester- 
dale,  these  two  faults  have  caused  the  Esk  to  flow  through 
an  extremely  narrow  exit  as  compared  with  the  great  width  of 
Westerdale  where  it  traverses  the  softer  rocks  of  the  Lias. 
Baysdale  Beck,  too,  in  the  lower  eastern  part  of  its  course 
where  it  flows  through  the  hard  grits  is  also  much  narrower 
(Fig.  52).  From  these  facts  it  becomes  obvious  that  the 
type  of  valley  represented  by  the  Hole  of  Horcum  is  one 
that  is  characteristic  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands,  though  at 
first  sight  we  might  be  inclined  to  think  the  famous  "  Hole  " 

The  source  of  the  Esk,  Esklets  at  Westerdale  Head,  is 
in  many  respects  interesting,  being  a  large  shallow  basin- 
shaped  hollow  with  a  narrow  exit,  this  exit  expanding  into 
the  main  dale  (see  map).  Somewhat  similar  though  much 
smaller  features  are  exhibited  by  a  parallel  branch  valley, 
Clough  Gill.  The  explanation  given  of  the  Hole  of  Horcum 
accounts  for  these  instances  also  ;  and  at  one  period  the 
heads  and  upper  parts  of  all  the  Liassic  valleys  must  have 
been  like  Eskletts  or  the  Hole.  The  dip  of  the  hard  Bajocian 
rocks  brings  them  in  the  lower  reaches  to  stream  level  ; 
but,  owing  to  the  increased  volume  of  water,  the  thickness 
of  the  Lias  shales,  the  larger  gathering  grounds,  and  the 
more  powerful  affluents,  this  aspect  has  been  very  largely 
lost  in  many  instances. 

We  have  traces  of  it  in  Danby  Dale,  for  where  the  stream 
emerges  between  Castleton  village  and  the  Howe  Hill  into 
Eskdale,  it  is  narrow  because  of  the  presence  of  the  Oolite, 
whereas  the  two  Fryups,  Glaisdale,  and  Egton  Grange,  have 
wide  mouths  owing  to  the  Lias  having  been  penetrated  by 
their  respective  streams  at  the  junctions.  But  the  great  pecu- 
liarity of  Danby  Dale  at  its  "  end,"  to  use  the  local  word  for 
the  coalescence  of  the  dales  with  the  Esk  valley,  is  the 


The  Origin  of  the  Dales 

celebrated  Howe  Hill,  previously  referred  to  as  being  clothed 
with  a  fine  example  of  grass  moor  (Fig.  54).  In  this  respect 
the  dale  is  unique,  for  no  similar  prominent  hill  occurs 
where  the  other  dales  debouch.  We  are  enabled  to  trace 
its  origin  from  the  circumstance  that  in  other  parts  of  the 
district  we  possess  all  the  intermediate  stages  leading  to 
the  production  of  such  a  hill.  Let  us  follow  these  stages 
and  see  how  the  Howe  Hill  has  arisen. 

Buscoe  Beck  at  the  end  of  Glaisdale  Ridge  supplies  us 
with  the  first  stage.  It  forms  a  shallow  valley — Glaisdale 
Swangs — rising  towards  the  Glaisdale  side  where  there  is  a 
distinct  col  in  the  level  of  the  ridge.  From  this  it  follows 
that  the  high  land  on  the  eastern  side  of  Buscoe  Beck  will 
become  separated  from  the  Ridge  by  the  gradual  lowering 
of  the  col  and  cutting  back  of  Buscoe  Beck. 

The  process  of  separation  is  seen  in  a  further  stage  of 
development  in  the  relations  of  the  two  Fryups.  The  two 
dales  are  connected  by  a  remarkable  pass  which  has  not 
yet  been  eroded  down  to  the  valley  level.  Evidently  the 
ridge  dividing  the  two  dales  formerly  extended  across  this 
pass,  where  there  would  at  first  be  a  low  col,  as  at  Buscoe 
Beck.  The  gap  would  be  gradually  deepened  by  various  eros- 
ive agents  until  the  pass  was  formed.  Applying  these  data  to 
the  Howe  we  at  once  perceive  that  this  hill  simply  represents 
a  more  advanced  stage  of  the  same  process  of  erosion. 
That  the  Howe  Hill  formerly  extended  up  Danby  Dale 
somewhat  after  the  manner  of  the  ridge  between  the  Fryups 
is  certain,  since  a  distinct  platform  caused  by  the  hard 
beds  of  the  Middle  Lias  runs  from  below  the  Howe  towards 
Danby  Church  and  thence  into  the  eastern  side  of  the  dale. 
On  the  same  side  of  the  Howe  is  a  small  stream,  with  its 
lower  parts  where  it  falls  into  the  Esk  choked  with  gravel, 
obscuring  the  actual  depth  of  the  valley.  Commencing  as 
a  small  runlet  on  the  end  of  Danby  Rigg,  the  waters  of  this 
stream  gradually  cut  back  and  produced  a  col  on  the  valley 
wall  overlooking  Danby  Dale.     This  in  the  course  of  ages 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

was  slowly  worn  down,  and  backwards,  until  the  present 
Howe  Hill  originated.  An  almost  identical  outlier  occurs 
in  the  lower  parts  of  Bransdale  where  a  long  wedge  of  the 
Inferior  Oolite  has  been  detached  from  the  eastern  side  of 
the  valley,  by  the  action  of  a  small  stream  flowing  into  the 
main  dale.  Unlike  the  Howe  it  is  entirely  surrounded  by  Lias. 
In  the  gap  between  the  two  Fryups  is  a  conspicuous 
land  form  known  as  the  Round  Hill  consisting  entirely  of 
Lias  rocks  and  with  no  capping  of  hard  sandstone,  though 
this  must  once  have  been  the  case.  In  accounting  for  this 
hill  we  shall  have  an  opportunity  of  explaining  a  very 
similar  one  in  Rosedale  which  affords  us  a  key  to  the  prob- 
lem. On  its  eastern  side  Rosedale  has  a  large  tributary 
gill  debouching  into  it — Northdale — the  lower  parts  of  which 
are  separated  from  the  main  valley  by  a  high  and  very 
narrow  ridge  of  moorland  capped  with  the  massive  Estuarine 
sandstones  (see  map  and  Fig.  56).  Beyond  the  end  of  this 
ridge  is  a  deep  gap  penetrating  to  the  Middle  Lias,  and 
bounded  on  the  south  by  a  prominent  round  hill  of  Upper 
Lias  above  the  village,  and  precisely  agreeing  in  every  par- 
ticular with  the  Round  Hill  in  Fryup.  A  closer  inspection  of 
the  high  narrow  ridge  reveals  the  fact  that  the  summit  sand- 
stone, at  its  termination,  is  wider  than  the  same  rock  half-a- 
mile  further  to  the  north  where  it  is  less  than  150  yards 
across.  Now  erosion  working  upon  this  neck  of  rock  will  wear 
away  the  narrow  part  long  before  the  wider  end  of  the  ridge, 
which  will  consequently  form  in  time  an  outlier  of  Oolite 
surrounded  by  Lias.  Erosion  still  continuing,  the  neck  now 
composed  of  the  softer  Lias,  will  be  worn  into  a  pass  or  col  by 
the  time  the  outlier  loses  its  sandstone  capping.  When  this 
has  taken  place  a  round  hill  of  Upper  Lias  shale  will  have 
been  formed.  It  is  easy,  therefore,  to  see  that  the  hills  of 
Rosedale  and  Fryup  have  been  formed  in  a  similar  fashion. 
When  the  Oolite  extended  across  Fryup  Gap,  it  was  narrower 
at  this  place  and  broader  where  the  hill  is  ;  the  former  was 
eroded  away  more  rapidly,  the  latter  more  slowly.     And  so 









(  ©v 




Fig.  56. — Diagram  to  Illustrate  the  Formation  of  Oolitic  and 

Liassic  Outliers. 

Shaded  parts  are  Inferior  Oolite  Sandstone.  The  unshaded  parts  are  Liassic  Shales.  The  dotted 
lines  represent  the  former  extension  of  the  Inferior  Oolite,  the  narrow  necks  are  worn  away, 
leaving  hills  capped  with  sandstone,  which,  when  removed  in  its  turn  produces  round  bills 
of  Lias.     The  diagram  is  arranged  to  show  the  successive  stages  of  this  process. 

225  P 

Moorlands  of  North- Eastern  Yorkshire 

with  the  hill  in  Rosedale,  which  marks  the  site  of  a  wider 
outcrop  of  Oolite  which  has  long  ago  been  swept  away. 
One  part  of  a  moorland  ridge  may  very  easily  become 
narrower  than  another  part  owing  to  various  causes, 
principally  landslips.  Thus,  the  Castleton  Ridge,  near  St. 
Helena,  is  very  narrow  ;  extensive  slips,  as  previously  men- 
tioned, have  occurred  on  the  Danby  Dale  side  (Fig.  56). 

The  cutting  back  of  the  dales  has  been  an  important 
event  in  their  development,  and  is  well  illustrated  by  the 
Murk  Esk,  as  pointed  out  by  Mr.  Cowper  Reed.  So  far 
back  indeed  has  this  valley  receded  that  its  head  waters, 
Eller  Beck  on  the  east,  and  Wheeldale  in  the  west,  actually 
rise  south  of  the  anticline.  In  future  ages  the  heads  of 
the  great  dales  will  encroach  upon  one  another,  passes  from 
one  valley  to  another  will  be  formed,  and  ultimately  con- 
tinuous dales  from  Eskdale  to  the  Vale  of  Pickering  will 
arise.  Important  modifications  of  the  drainage  will  natur- 
ally follow  and  the  whole  aspect  of  the  high  moors  will  be 
completely  changed. 

In  the  eastern  area  the  dales  are  small  and  fall  towards  the 
sea.  Such  are  Stainton  Dale,  Bloody  Beck,  the  River  Der- 
went,  the  Symes  Valley  and  Troutsdale.  This  is  in  accord 
with  the  easterly  slope  of  the  anticline,  but  here  glacial  action 
has  largely  obscured  the  normal  courses  of  the  streams. 

It  will  have  been  perceived  that  the  Ice  Age  has  had  little 

to  do  with  the  shaping  of  the  dales,  for  the  simple  reason 

that  most  of  them  lie  outside  the  limits  of  glaciation  ;   but 

there  is  one  case  worthy  of  attention  in  which  the  Glacial 

Period  may  have  had  some  influence.     Far  away  on  the 

wild  moors  beyond  Lilla  Cross  rises  Bloody  Beck,  which, 

flowing  due  eastwards,  falls  into  the  rocky  ravine  of  Jugger 

Howe  Dale,  a  few  miles  above  Harwood  Dale  Mill  (see  Fig. 

55).     Now  where  the  waters  of  Bloody  Beck  join  those  of 

Jugger  Howe  Dale  some  singular  features  occur.     We  find 

that  the  beck  flows  over  a  fine  waterfall  nearly  twenty  feet 

high,  through  a  deep  and  wooded  gorge,  whilst  parallel  to 


The  Origin  of  the  Dales 


this  gorge,  and  at  a  somewhat  higher  level,  runs  a  dry  valley, 
opening  out  on  the  sides  of  Jugger  Howe  Dale.  In  other 
words,  the  form  of  the  valley  of  Bloody  Beck  at  this  point 
may  be  represented  by  the  letter  Y  laid  horizontally,  the 
lower  limb  of  the  fork  being  the  gorge,  the  upper  limb  the 
dry  channel.  Here  are  two  facts  demanding  explanation. 
Why  is  the  outlet  bifurcated,  and  why  does  the  stream  flow 
over  a  wall  of  rock  ? 

It  is  significant  that  this  happens  upon  the  edge  of  Jugger 
Howe  Dale — a  valley  formed  during  the  Ice  Age  along  the 
ice  margin — the  line  of  maximum  glaciation  being  practically 
represented  by  its  sinuosities.  Before  the  Glacial  Period 
Jugger  Howe  Dale  did  not  exist  ;  but  the  waters  of  Hellwath 
Beck  in  the  east  and  Bloody  Beck  in  the  west  united  not 
far  from  where  they  now  join,  and  travelled  down  a  shallow 
normal  moorland  valley  to  Harwood  Dale.  Through  this 
valley — that  of  Lownorth  Beck — came  the  glacier-lake 
drainage  from  Robin  Hood's  Bay  and  Iburndale,  cutting 
deeply  into  the  moorlands,  as  well  as  enlarging  and  widening 
the  pre-existing  dale.  Hence  after  the  retreat  of  the  ice, 
Bloody  Beck  would  flow  at  a  higher  level  than  the  floor  of 
Jugger  Howe  Dale,  and  would  consequently  precipitate  its 
waters  over  the  edge  of  the  ravine,  forming  the  waterfall 
which  has  cut  back  some  little  distance  from  its  original 
position.  Hellwath  Beck  has  two  waterfalls  in  its  course 
for  similar  reasons. 

To  account  for  the  origin  of  the  dry  gorge  is  not  so  easy. 
It  may  be  due  to  a  lobe  of  ice  which  stood  on  the  western 
side  of  Jugger  Howe  Dale  and  caused  the  glacial  drainage  to 
sweep  round  it  after  the  manner  of  an  oxbow.  That  the 
ice  pressed  westwards  further  than  the  line  of  the  dale  may 
be  taken  for  granted  ;  for  in  the  Robin  Hood's  Bay  area, 
several  dry  valleys  parallel  to  Jugger  Howe  occur  to  the  west 
of  it,  the  chief  of  them  being  Biller  Howe  Turf  Rigg  Slack. 
If  the  ice  lobe  at  the  exit  of  Bloody  Beck  caused  the  drainage 
to  form  an  oxbow,  on  the  shrinkage  of  the  ice  this  oxbow 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

would  be  deserted  by  the  glacial  waters.  The  waters  of 
Bloody  Beck,  however,  travelled  down  the  lower  segment  of 
the  oxbow,  leaving  the  higher  and  intake  segment  dry  to 
the  present  day.  It  is  certainly  a  rather  curious  coincidence 
that  an  ice  lobe  should  have  formed  an  oxbow  exactly  at 
the  mouth  of  the  beck  ;  but  it  may  be  noted  that  nearly 
all  waterfalls  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  can  be  traced  to 
the  effects  of  the  Ice  Age  in  thrusting  streams  out  of  their 
original  channels  against  the  rocky  sides  of  the  valleys.  In 
this  way  have  been  formed  the  numerous  falls  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Goathland — Thomasin  Foss,  Nelly  Ayre  Foss, 
Walker  Mill  Foss,  etc. 

Without  entering  into  further  details  enough  has  now 
been  said  concerning  the  origin  of  the  dales.     A  discussion 
of  all  their  peculiarities  would  not  only  be  tedious,  but  it 
would  be  very  largely  a  repetition  with  varying  local  details 
of  what  has  already  been  stated.     We  have  clearly  seen  that 
the  dales  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands  are  due  to  several  factors,, 
the  chief  being  the  dip  of  the  rocks,  which,  in  most  cases,  has. 
decided  the  direction  of  the  streams  ;    the  character  of  the 
rocks,  which  has  determined  the  forms  of  the  valleys  ;   and 
lastly  the  action  of  rivers,  springs,  snow,  frost  and  rain,  which 
have  led  to  their  excavation.     Hence  there  has  indirectly 
resulted  the  peculiar  distribution  of  the  moors  on  the  Ba- 
jocian  strata,  showing  once  again  how  dependent  the  plant 
life  of  a  district  is  upon  its  geological  history. 

On  calm  days  when  geological  processes  are  reduced  to- 
a  minimum  it  is  extremely  difficult  to  realise  that  the  dales 
are  the  result  of  erosion.  Since  calm  days  outnumber 
stormy  ones  when  denudation  reaches  a  maximum,  we 
begin  faintly  to  understand  the  length  of  time  required  for 
the  excavation  of  a  dale.  The  sense  of  their  antiquity  is 
still  further  emphasised  by  our  looking  at  deposits  of  the 
Ice  Age  that  may  exist  in  them,  deposits  still  retaining 
their  almost  original  forms,  though  left  there  thousands 
of  years  ago  by  the  ancient  ice. 





THE    northern    boundary    of    the    moors    coincides 
in  the  main  with   the   great  Jurassic   escarpment 
of    the    Cleveland    Hills.     Rising    abruptly  from 
the    plain,    this    picturesque    range    of     uplands 
has    a    more    imposing    aspect    than    any    other    escarp- 
ment or  range  of  hills  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire.     Viewed 
from  the  high  moors  behind  Robin  Hood's  Bay,  the  Tabular 
range  looms  boldly  forward  on  the  southern  horizon  ;    as 
seen  from  the  head  of  Scugdale,  the  outliers  of  Easterside 
and  Hawnby  Hill  are  most  impressive  ;   but  no  part  of  the 
Tabular  escarpment  can  compare  in  ruggedness,  boldness  and 
elevation  with  the  Cleveland  Hills  from  Roseberry  Topping 
to  Scarth  Nick.    As  contemplated  from  the  Vale  of  Stokesley, 
they  cannot  but  charm  and  impress  us  with  their  ever- 
varying  aspects.     When  the  atmosphere  is  heavily  charged 
with  moisture  they  are  sapphire  blue,  deepening  in  intensity 
when  rain  clouds  roll  their  black  masses  along  the  flat  sum- 
mits.     Under   these   conditions   only   a   grand    succession 
of  bold  curves  outlined  against  a  gloomy  sky  can  be  dis- 
cerned.     Each   great   land-form — the   cone   of    Roseberry 
Topping,    the    flat-topped    Hasty    Bank,    the    sugar-loafed 
shape  of  Cold  Moor,  the  hog-backed  sweep  of  Cranimoor 
(Cringle  Moor) — looms  up  yet  larger  as  day  wanes  and  dark 
shadows  fall  athwart  its  crags  and  slopes.     In  clear  sunny 
weather,  especially  after  a  period  of  drought,  the  hills  provide 
us  with  other  aspects.     Every  detail  then  becomes  visible,  so 
that  even  at  a  distance  of  several  miles  every  wood,  crag, 
grassy  bank  and  scar  stands  out  with  remarkable  distinct- 
ness, though  apparently  much  reduced  in  size.     Sometimes 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

the  setting  summer  sun  flushes  their  summit  crags  with 
rosy  light  and  we  behold  the  portals  of  an  enchanted  land. 

Speaking  generally,  the  moorland  parts  of  the  Cleveland 
Hills  run  from  the  neighbourhood  of  Ingleby  Arnecliffe 
due  eastwards  to  that  great  recess,  Greenhow  Botton. 
They  then  trend  north,  via  Battersby  Crags  and  Easby 
Moor,  to  Roseberry  Topping,  where  they  once  more 
turn  east  along  the  south  side  of  the  Guisborough 
valley.  The  chief  and  undoubtedly  the  most  impressive 
part  of  the  Jurassic  escarpment  lies  between  Greenhow 
Botton  and  Swainby,  where  the  range  is  cut  up 
into  a  succession  of  hills  separated  by  deep  cols  or  passes. 
The  easternmost  of  these  hills  is  the  long  flat-topped  Hasty 
Bank,  a  curved  mass  of  rocks  reaching  a  height  of  1300 
feet  at  Raven  Scar.  Its  singularly  narrow  grassy  summit 
rarely  exceeds  three  hundred  yards  in  width,  and  in  some 
places  is  only  one  hundred  yards  or  even  less  across.  On 
the  east  it  is  divided  from  the  elevated  tracts  of  moorland 
round  Botton  Head  by  a  narrow  pass — Hagg's  Gate — 
whilst  a  similar  but  wider  col  separates  it  on  the  west  from 
Cold  Moor.  These  cols  correspond  to  the  two  head  branches 
of  the  great  Bilsdale  valley.  Viewed  from  Ingleby  Moor, 
Hasty  Bank  has  a  hog-backed  outline  quite  different  from 
its  tabular  appearance  as  seen  from  the  north. 

At  Hasty  Bank  there  is  evidence  as  to  the  way  in  which 
the  hills  are  degraded  by  the  weather.  The  eastern  ex- 
tremity has  been  the  scene  of  many  landslips,  the  last  of 
which  left  a  huge  scar  of  bare  rock  on  the  hill  side.  Great 
screes  of  shale  and  sandstone  fallen  from  the  cliffs  obscure 
all  the  strata  below  the  top  of  the  Alum  Shale,  and  at  the 
foot  of  the  talus  heaps  immense  blocks  of  sandstone  make 
a  scene  of  wild  confusion  and  rocky  desolation.  A  large 
landslip  took  place  here  many  years  ago.  It  probably  origi- 
nated in  a  joint  parallel  to  the  face  of  the  cliffs  becoming 
wider  by  the  action  of  frost  and  rain,  whilst  at  the  same 
time  the  water  percolating  through  the  porous  sandstone 


The  Cleveland  and  Hambleton  Hills 

was  thrown  up  by  the  impervious  shales  beneath.  In  this 
way  the  face  of  the  cliff  becomes  insecure,  and  sooner  or 
later  slips  down  the  slopes  with  a  tremendous  crash. 

At  the  western  end  of  Hasty  Bank  occurs  that  familiar 
group  of  boulders,  the  Wainstones,  consisting  of 
pillars  or  columns  of  sandstone  more  or  less  isolated 
from  one  another,  together  with  a  fantastic  jumble 
of  rocks  of  all  shapes  and  sizes.  Derived  from  the 
Bajocian  sandstone  of  the  hill  summit,  the  Wainstones 
exhibit  the  influence  of  the  weather  upon  this  kind 
of  rock.  Vertical  lines  of  joint  or  "  backs "  have  been 
widened  without  the  masses  slipping  away  from  the  face 
of  the  cliff,  and  as  these  masses  have  been  attacked  on  all 
sides  by  the  weather,  they  have  slowly  been  sculptured 
into  picturesque  pillars  or  monoliths.  Varying  degrees  of 
hardness  in  the  successive  layers  of  sandstone  have  produced 
unequal  erosion  along  lines  of  bedding— the  softer  layers 
being  worn  away  more  rapidly  than  the  harder — so  that  we 
sometimes  come  across  masses  of  rock  supported  by  a 
comparatively  slender  pedestal. 

Still  proceeding  westwards  we  reach  the  interesting  out- 
lier of  Cold  Moor,  likewise  1300  feet  high.  From  the  plain 
this  hill  appears  quite  conical,  though  in  reality  we  are 
looking  at  a  section  of  a  roughly  oval  piece  of  moorland, 
two  miles  in  length  from  north  to  south,  and  often  nearly 
a  mile  wide.  Cold  Moor  divides  the  heads  of  Bilsdale  and 
Raisdale,  and  nothing  can  be  more  impressive  than  its  long 
sweeping  blope  rising  from  the  south  to  the  very  edge  of 
the  escarpment. 

Beyond  Cold  Moor  comes  the  col  at  Donna  Cross  which 
is  succeeded  by  the  hog-backed  outline  of  Cringle  or  Crani- 
moor.  Cranimoor  is  a  magnificent  land-form,  triangular  in 
shape,  completely  isolated,  and  attains  an  altitude  of  1400 
feet.  It  is  perhaps  the  finest  hill  in  the  whole  escarpment. 
A  long  flat  col,  Green  Bank,  marking  the  head  of  Raisdale, 
separates  Cranimoor  from  the  steep  slopes  of  Carlton  Bank, 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

where  the  escarpment  begins  to  trend  south-west  to  Live 
Moor  above  Whorlton.  The  altitude  here  falls  considerably, 
being  only  1025  feet,  a  fact  of  some  significance  in  the 
history  of  the  hills.  West  of  Live  Moor  the  deep  Scugdale 
valley  opens  on  to  the  Cleveland  plain  from  the  east-south- 
east ;  its  western  side  being  breached  by  the  fine  gap  of 
Scarth  Nick  leading  down  to  Osmotherley. 

That  deep  embayment  at  their  western  extremity,  Green- 
how  Botton,  around  which  the  moors  attain  their  greatest 
elevation  of  nearly  1500  feet,  is  perhaps  the  most  remarkable 
feature  of  the  hills.  The  Botton  lies  almost  a  mile  to  the 
south  of  the  line  of  the  main  range  of  uplands,  and  has 
remarkably  steep  and  precipitous  sides  on  the  south.  These 
sides  are  wild  and  rugged  in  the  extreme,  and  are  gashed 
with  numerous  water-courses.  Of  these  courses,  Blue  Bell 
Trough  is  the  largest,  and  forms  an  almost  precipitous  cleft 
or  narrow  ravine  on  the  slopes  below  Urra  Moor.  Practi- 
cally streamless  in  summer,  Blue  Bell  Trough  in  winter, 
when  snows  lie  deep  on  the  northern  face  of  the  hills,  becomes 
a  roaring  torrent,  turgid  with  debris. 

At  Rudd  Scar,  above  the  Rosedale  incline  railway,  the 
massive  character  of  the  sandstone  is  well-shown.  High 
cliffs,  down  whose  face  streams  trickle,  with  huge  screes  of 
fallen  blocks  at  their  base,  form  a  wild  and  rugged  scene. 
Here  denudation  slowly  wears  back  the  face  of  the  cliff. 
In  wintry  weather,  water  percolating  through  cracks  in 
the  stone  becomes  frozen,  and  forces  the  rock  apart.  Com- 
bined with  the  erosive  power  of  running  water,  this  process 
loosens  blocks  of  sandstone  along  lines  of  joint  and  bedding, 
until  they  are  rendered  so  insecure  that  they  fall  away 
and  crash  on  to  the  slopes  below.  Along  the  sides  of  the 
Botton,  huge  blocks  of  sandstone  lie  scattered  down  to  the 
floor  of  the  valley,  showing  how  effective  is  this  method  of 

Slips  of  stone  and  soil  frequently  happen  owing  to  the 
action   of   small   springs.     The   slopes   or  screes   of   fallen 


The    Cleveland    and    Hambleton    Hills 

material  are  in  their  turn  attacked  by  the  weather,  but 
through  the  formation  of  soil  may  become  grassed  over  before 
being  removed. 

Of  the  strata  composing  the  hills  little  need  be  said. 
The  lower  slopes  are  formed  of  the  Lias,  and  the  summits  of 
the  Estuarine  sandstones  of  the  Inferior  Oolite.  In  almost 
every  instance  the  nature  of  the  slope  has  been  determined 
by  the  nature  of  the  rocks.  The  Sandy  Series  of  the  Middle 
Lias  being  much  harder  than  the  shales  above  and  below, 
occurs  as  a  prominent  scarp  near  the  foot  of  the  hills,  forming 
in  some  localities  spurs  running  out  into  the  lowlands,  as 
at  Lazenby  and  Yearby  Banks  near  Eston  ;  Bousdale  Hill, 
a  long  ridge  near  Pinchingthorpe  ;  and  the  steep  scarp  above 
the  river  Leven  at  Easby  Wood.  On  the  slopes  of  the  hill 
on  which  stands  Captain  Cook's  monument,  the  outcrop 
of  the  Sandy  Series  is  deeply  grooved  by  channels  caused 
by  running  water. 

The  Ironstone  Beds  form  a  lesser  scarp  above  the  one 
which  has  just  been  described.  Harder  than  the  shales  above 
but  softer  than  the  sandstones  below,  it  occupies  an  inter- 
mediate position  in  the  slope  of  erosion  and  can  be  well  seen 
on  Roseberry  Topping.  The  soft  upper  Liassic  shales  have, 
as  a  rule,  a  gentle  non-prominent  slope,  whilst  above  them 
rise  the  craggy  cliffs  of  sandstone.  These  general  features 
are  often  altered  by  slips,  as  at  the  western  end  of  Hasty 
Bank,  and  on  the  great  precipitous  scars  of  the  Middle  Lias 
below  the  pass  of  Green  Bank.  Much,  too,  of  what  has  been 
here  said  concerning  the  form  of  the  dale  sides  is  applicable 
to  the  slopes  of  the  hills,  the  rocks  being  identical  in  both. 
The  details  of  the  slope  of  erosion  become  very  well-marked 
in  snowy  weather,  when  the  Cleveland  Hills  appear  truly 
grand,  standing  out  like  miniature  Alps  against  the  clear 
blue  of  the  sky.  Since  the  snow  lies  unevenly  on  them, 
every  crag  and  scarp  may  be  seen  with  great  distinctness, 
the  sandstone  cliffs  and  other  precipitous  places  showing 
black,  whilst  the  slopes  beneath  are  dazzling  white. 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

The  origin  of  the  escarpments  of  the  Vale  of  Stokesley 
appears  to  be  associated  with  special  phases  in  the  develop- 
mental history  of  the  River  Tees  and  River  Leven.  For 
if  the  river  system  at  this  end  of  the  Jurassic  tableland  had 
operated  in  the  same  way  as  that  of  the  dales,  it  is  difficult 
to  understand  why  all  the  Oolites  and  most  of  the  Lias 
have  been  swept  off  the  plain.  Unless  the  moorland  strata 
never  existed  here  (an  improbable  hypothesis),  we  can  only 
account  for  their  absence  by  erosion,  more  rapid  and  more 
powerful  than  that  which  has  been  at  work  elsewhere  in 
the  district. 

That  the  Cleveland  escarpments  once  extended  further 
northwards  cannot  be  questioned  ;  a  conclusion  borne  out 
by  the  fact  that  in  the  Eston  Hills  we  find  the  same  suc- 
cession of  strata  as  in  the  hills  above  Stokesley.  How 
much  further  north  still  the  Eston  escarpment  extended 
cannot  be  ascertained  ;  but  probably  at  the  time  of  the 
Miocene  uplift  the  vales  of  Guisbrough  and  Stokesley  were 
overlain  by  all  the  higher  beds  of  the  Lias  and  Oolites,  and 
a  continuous  line  of  hills  ranged  along  the  southern 
or  even  the  northern  banks  of  the  Tees.  According  to  Mr. 
Cowper  Reed,  at  that  epoch  the  River  Leven  had  originated 
and  drained  westwards  into  the  Tees,  the  influence  of  which 
river  with  its  greater  volume  of  water,  and  consequently 
greater  erosive  power,  led  to  a  more  active  denudation  of  the 
Jurassic  rocks  along  their  north-western  outcrop.  Hence 
it  has  been  partly  responsible  for  the  more  rapid  recession 
of  the  escarpments  overlooking  the  low  grounds  of  Cleveland. 

A  fact  not  to  be  left  out  of  consideration  in  this  connection 
is  the  rough  parallelism  shown  by  the  course  of  the  Tees  and 
the  line  of  the  Cleveland  Hills.  From  Barnard  Castle  to  Dar- 
lington the  Tees  flows  eastwards,  and  at  Dinsdale  trends 
north-east,  thus  approximately  following  the  general  run 
of  the  Jurassic  escarpment.  As  Mr.  Reed  has  shown,  the 
Tees-Leven-Esk  once  probably  formed  a  continuous  river. 
The  waters  of  this  river,  however,  were  diverted  and  turned 


The    Cleveland   and    Hambleton    Hills 

north-east,  the  lower  part  of  its  course  became  the  Esk, 
whilst  the  Leven  arose  as  a  tributary  flowing  westwards 
in  the  old  valley  of  the  Tees-Leven-Esk.  Kildale  Gap  is 
thus  accounted  for,  and  it  must  be  obvious  that  this  activity 
of  river  erosion  plus  the  ever  present  atmospheric  erosion, 
led  to  the  more  active  denudation  of  the  north-western  area 
of  Cleveland. 

Flowing  into  the  Leven  are  two  tributaries — Ingleby 
Beck  rising  in  Botton  Head,  and  Swainby  Beck  rising  in 
Scugdale.  Ingleby  Beck  flows  north-west  from  the  water- 
shed, and  arose  after  the  Miocene  uplift,  the  dip  of  the  rocks 
determining  its  direction  as  with  the  other  dale-streams. 
Probably  it  flowed  down  a  dale,  the  western  wall  of  which 
has  long  ago  been  swept  away.  The  eastern  wall,  however,, 
remains,  and  this  is  the  westward  facing  slope  of  the  Botton, 
the  head  of  which  still  retains  all  the  features  characteristic 
of  that  of  a  dale. 

The  origin  of  Scugdale  is  not  so  clear,  and  in  many  respects 
it  is  one  of  the  most  interesting  of  all  the  dales.  For  one 
thing,  it  is  very  deep  with  bold  slopes  and  sides  ;  and  it 
breaks  through  the  Jurassic  escarpment  in  a  direction  con- 
trary to  the  dip  of  the  beds  which  is  eastwards,  whereas  the 
dale  points  a  little  north  of  west.  Moreover,  it  is  a  much- 
faulted  valley,  more  so  than  any  other  in  the  district. 
One  of  the  faults  runs  along  the  length  of  the  dale  on  the 
northern  side,  having  a  downthrow  on  the  north  of  quite 
ioo  feet,  whilst  crossing  the  dale  from  south  to  north  is 
another  fault  which  extends  as  far  as  the  eastern  side  of 
the  Whorlton  outlier.  If  we  follow  the  line  of  old  shale 
heaps  left  by  the  jet  workers  on  the  southern  slopes  of  the 
valley,  we  notice  that  they  dip  east-south-east  from  Scarth 
Nick  to  Harfa  Bank,  beyond  which  we  find  that  they  have 
an  opposite  dip,  viz.  :  west-north-west  ;  the  change  of 
dip  being  probably  due  to  the  north  and  south  fault  referred 
to,  and  here  extending  into  the  southern  side  of  the  dale.  It 
is  suggestive  that  there  should  be  this  westerly  dip  coinciding 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

with  the  course  of  the  valley,  but  that  this  has  initiated  its 
direction  does  not  seem  likely  when  we  remember  that  this 
dip  is  suddenly  changed  into  an  opposite  one.  Messrs.  Tate 
and  Blake  thought  that  Scugdale  belonged  to  the  southern 
set  of  dales  in  contradistinction  to  Greenhow  Botton  which 
belonged  to  the  northern  set  ;  but  this  must  be  an 
error  on  their  part,  since  Scugdale  obviously  is  the  last 
remnant  of  a  large  dale  which  may,  in  former  ages  and  far 
beyond  the  present  outcrop  of  the  Oolites,  have  trended 
northwards  in  the  same  way  as  Danby  Dale,  etc.*  The 
same  authors  also  hint  that  this  peculiar  valley  may  have 
arisen  along  the  line  of  the  east  and  west  fault,  and  this  is 
not  unlikely.  Again,  the  dale  may  be  due  to  the  cutting 
back  of  some  tributary  of  the  Tees  rising  on  the  slopes  of 
the  hills  when  their  escarpment  extended  further  north, 
and  being  an  active  and  powerful  little  river,  its  head  waters 
might  have  worked  headwards  through  the  escarpment 
faster  than  this  receded. 

By  the  co-operation  then  of  all  these  factors  the  great 
north  and  west  escarpments  of  Cleveland  were  produced. 
The  recession  of  the  main  range  of  hills,  however,  caused 
the  upper  reaches  of  the  great  Bilsdale  valley  to  be  beheaded. 
That  is  to  say,  the  cols  of  the  escarpment  at  Hagg's  Gate, 
Garfit,  Donna  Cross  and  Green  Bank,  correspond  to  the 
slopes  and  floors  of  the  branches  of  Bilsdale.  Formerly 
extending  further  north,  these  valleys  have  had  their  upper 
parts  swept  away  by  erosion,  resulting  in  that  picturesque 
succession  of  hill  and  hollow  so  characteristic  of  the  great 
Jurassic  escarpment.  All  the  stages  in  this  method  of  be- 
heading valleys  can  be  seen  along  the  whole  range  of  che 
hills.  Above  Guisbrough  the  two  heads  of  Sleddale  are  being 
gradually  decapitated.  One  head — at  High  Cliff  Gate — 
presents  but  a  slight  depression  in  the  outline  of  the  escarp- 
ment ;  the  second  head  has  been  cut  away  to  a  much  greater 

*  "  Yorkshire  Lias,"  p.  195. 

The    Cleveland    and    Hambleton    Hills 

extent,  probably  because  it  extended  further  to  the  north- 
Consequently  there  is  a  much  deeper  and  broader  col  on 
the  edge  of  the  escarpment  at  Cod  Hill.  We  have  only  to 
imagine  High  Cliff  Gate  being  eroded  much  further  back 
to  see  that  the  bold  crag  of  High  Cliff  itself  would  become 
an  outlier  or  hill  like  Cold  Moor  or  Cranimoor. 

Roseberry  Topping  is  due  to  the  same  erosive  agents. 
Between  Easby  Moor  and  the  Topping  is  a  small  embay- 
ment  caused  by  small  streams  flowing  from  the  escarpment. 
On  the  Newton  side  of  the  hill  a  deep  broad  col  separates 
the  outlier  from  Newton  Moor.     This  col  is  partly  due  to 
the  recession  of  the  northern  escarpment  beheading  one  of 
the  valleys  of  the  streams  just  mentioned.     In  glacial  times, 
some  overflow  of  water  must  have  taken  place  through 
this  col,  and  this  would  still  further  deepen  it.     Viewed  from 
the   north    or   south    Roseberry   Topping   presents   a   very 
characteristic  form.     Its  eastern  slope  is  decidedly  convex, 
whereas  the  western  slope  is  somewhat  concave,  showing 
that  this  latter  has  suffered  most  from  the  weather,  rain  and 
atmospheric  erosion,  these  agents  being  decidedly  stronger 
from  the  west  and  south-west  than  from  any  other  point  of 
the  compass.     The  hill,  too,  is  clearly  reminiscent  of  the  time 
when  the  Round  Hills  of  Fryup  and  Rosedale  were  capped 
with  Oolite.     When  the  Oolitic  cap  has  been  worn  from  the 
summit,  Roseberry  Topping  will  then  form  a  round  hill  of 
Lias  (Fig.  56). 

Mention  must  be  made  of  the  singular  outlier  of  Whorl 
Hill  between  Swainby  and  Faceby,  a  small  mass  of  Upper 
Lias  and  Oolite  that  has  been  let  down  between  two  faults 
which  bound  its  east  and  west  sides.  These  have  undoubted- 
ly led  to  its  preservation,  but  it  is  not  at  all  clear  as  to  how 
the  gap  between  the  hill  and  Whorlton  Moor  has  been  carved 

During  the  Glacial  Period  the  Cleveland  Hills  presented 
an  impassable  barrier  to  the  ice  sheets.  Sweeping  from  the 
north,  the  glaciers  impinged  directly  on  their  face,  but  were 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

unable  to  surmount  them.  Observe  here  the  subtle  inter- 
workings  of  causation.  Causes  which  we  have  just  dealt 
with  produced  the  bold  escarpments  of  Cleveland ;  these 
escarpments  in  their  turn  caused  the  ice  sheets  of  a  later  age 
to  be  hindered  in  their  almost  resistless  advance.  If  the 
escarpments  had  been  lower  so  that  the  ice  overflowed  them 
there  would  have  been  little  or  no  driftless  area  with  an 
Arctic  fauna  and  flora,  and  much  less  moorland,  for  in  that 
case  the  drift  deposits  would  have  considerably  modified 
the  original  moorland  soils. 

Little  change  was  wrought  on  the  hills  during  the  Ice  Age. 
Here  and  there  the  drainage  of  the  slopes  was  obstructed, 
and  flowed  into  the  ice-free  country  beyond.  In  this  way 
arose  that  great  notch  in  the  escarpment  at  Gribdale  Gate, 
between  Great  Ayton  Moor  and  Easby  Moor,  whilst  the 
obstructed  drainage  of  Scugdale  gave  rise  to  two  lake  over- 
flows, Holy  Well  Gill  and  Scarth  Nick.  The  former  occurs 
on  the  moors  on  the  western  side  of  the  valley  at  a  height 
of  iooo  feet,  the  highest  overflow  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire. 
A  retreat  of  the  ice  opened  a  lower  channel  and  the  great 
pass  of  Scarth  Nick  was  excavated.  Visible  for  long  dis- 
tances, Scarth  Nick  is  one  of  the  most  imposing  evidences 
of  Professor  Kendall's  theory  in  North  Cleveland.* 

When  the  ice  margin  stood  at  the  foot  of  the  hills,  a  type 
of  dry  valley  was  formed  characterised  by  large  mounds  of 
drift  on  the  iceward  side  and  the  steep  slopes  of  the  hills 
on  the  other,  the  obstructed  drainage  flowing  between 
ihem.  Such  channels  may  be  seen  at  Pinchingthorpe, 
Great  Ayton,  Ingleby  and  Whorlton.f 

At  Ingleby  Arncliffe  the  Cleveland  Hills  trend  southwards 
as  far  as  Osmotherley  ;  beyond  which  village  to  Coxwold 
the  escarpment  is  known  as  the  Hambletons,  a  range  that 
differs  considerably  from  the  one  we  have  been  studying, 
and  to  which  we  must  next  devote  a  little  attention. 

*  Kendall,  op.  cit. 

t  Elgee,  "  Glaciation  of  North  Cleveland,"  Proceedings  of  the  Yorks. 

<Geol.  Soc,  1908. 


The    Cleveland    and    Hambleton    Hills 

The  Hambletons,  as  we  have  frequently  stated,  form  the 
western  boundary  of  the  moors,  and  are  due  to  the  excava- 
tion of  the  great  vale  of  York.  How  much  further  to  the 
west  they  once  extended  we  cannot  say  with  any  certainty, 
but  the  gradual  recession  of  the  escarpment  has  led  to  some 
very  remarkable  features,  owing  chiefly  to  the  circumstance 
that  the  whole  of  the  Jurassic  system  of  rocks,  from  the  base 
of  the  Lias  to  the  top  of  the  Coralline  Oolite,  constitutes  the 
slopes  and  cliffs  of  this  noble  range. 

Since  no  valleys  have  been  beheaded  by  the  recession  of 
this  escarpment  we  do  not  find  that  succession  of  hill  and 
hollow  so  characteristic  of  that  of  Cleveland.  On  the  con- 
trary, the  tabular  summits  sweep  in  an  unbroken  line  from 
Black  Hambleton  to  Roulston  Scar,  with  great  cliffs  of 
Calcareous  Grit  and  Kellaways  Rock  that  have  been  caused 
by  immense  landslips,  as  at  Kepwick,  near  Boltby,  at  White- 
stone  Cliff  and  elsewhere.  At  the  latter  place,  the  sinking 
of  the  hinder  part  of  the  slipped  mass,  more  readily  than  the 
front  which  forms  a  great  ledge  or  undercliff,  has  produced 
a  hollow,  now  filled  with  water  and  the  site  of  the  picturesque 
Lake  Gormire.*  Similar  and  smaller  slips  often  have  pools 
in  the  sunken  part,  as  may  be  seen  in  our  photograph  of 
the  Cotton  Grass  in  Fig.  19,  where  the  water  has  collected  in 
the  hollow  of  an  undercliff  due  to  landslips. 

Below  the  cliffs  of  the  Middle  Oolites  comes  the  outcrop 
of  the  harder  Bajocian  rocks,  which,  since  they  have  been 
trenched  by  numerous  small  valleys,  occur  sometimes  as 
spurs,  and  sometimes  as  singular  detached  outliers.  Below 
the  Inferior  Oolite  is  the  slope  of  the  Upper  and  Middle 
Lias,  and  in  fact  we  may  compare  the  Hambletons  to  the 
Cleveland  Hills  with  the  Tabular  Range  placed  on  top  of 
them!  The  Hambletons,  however,  do  not  attain  the  alti- 
tude of  the  Cleveland  Hills,  owing  to  the  southerly  dip  of 
the  strata  and  their  diminished  thickness,  especially  in  the 
•case  of  the  Lias  and  the  Inferior  Oolite. 

*  Fox-Strangways,  op.  cit. 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

We  have  in  Chapter  X.  referred  to  the  heather-clad  spurs 
of  Inferior  Oolite  which  run  out  into  the  plain  at  the  foot  of 
the  Hambletons.  These  are  due  to  the  erosive  action  of 
streams  rising  in  the  escarpment  and  to  the  excessive 
hardness  of  the  rocks,  and  are  especially  noticeable  at 
Osmotherley,  Over  Silton,  Cowesby  and  Kirby  Knowle. 
Some  masses  have  become  separated  from  the  main  outcrop 
and  form  remarkable  outliers,  such  as  Woolmoor  south  of 
Cowesby,  Mount  St.  John  and  four  smaller  outliers  near 
Kirby  Knowle,  (Fig.  56)  and  the  great  mound  of  Hood  Hill  in 
front  of  Roulston  Scar.  Nor  must  we  omit  to  mention  the 
long  narrow  hill  of  Borrowby  to  the  east  of  Northallerton. 

These  hills  are  particularly  interesting,  for  they  have 
become  detached  from  the  escarpment  by  different  methods. 
A  glance  at  the  geological  map  shows  that  Woolmoor  and 
Hood  Hill  are  separated  from  the  escarpment  by  dry  valleys 
which  have  every  appearance  of  being  lake-overflows. 
Though  the  glaciation  of  the  Hambletons  has  not  yet  been 
investigated  in  the  light  of  Professor  Kendall's  researches, 
there  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  obstructed  drainage  of  the 
slopes  formed  lakes  which  drained  away  southwards.  The 
valleys  between  the  outliers  and  the  escarpment  do  not 
appear  to  have  been  formed  by  the  wearing  back  of  either 
side  of  the  spurs  to  which  the  hills  must  have  once  belonged, 
but  north  of  both  is  a  recess  in  which  the  water  of  the  slopes 
could  have  accumulated  against  the  ice  margin  in  the  Vale 
of  York.  The  probability  is  that  these  lakes  drained  south- 
wards across  the  spurs  in  question,  cutting  deep  valleys  and 
leaving  the  ends  of  the  spurs  as  conspicuous  hills. 

The  outliers  of  Inferior  Oolite  between  Kirby  Knowle  and 
Feliskirk  seem  to  have  been  produced  by  the  wearing  away  of 
narrow  necks  of  the  same  rocks,  in  the  manner  of  the  Round 
Hills  in  Fryup  and  Rosedale.  It  is  very  obvious  that  by 
the  time  the  sandstone  capping  is  worn  off,  small  Liassic 
hills  will  be  formed  such  as  may  be  seen  at  the  end  of  the 
spur  at  Over  Silton  (Fig.  56). 


Fig.   57. — FREEBOROUGH    Hill   from    THE    North.        [FrankElgee. 

I      ;     58. 

Geologicai    Structure  01   Freebor h   Hili    (F)    ind  Vicinity 

l  |,,     haded  pari     repre  en1  the  Kellawaj     R01  I.  ,   I  he  unshaded  the 
l  nper  I.  tuarine  Serii    .     The  bla<  k  lines  are  faull  ,  with  short 
lines  mi  tin-  1I1  '\\ lit hn >\\     ii l< 

The    Cleveland    and    Hambleton    Hills 

Before  finally  leaving  the  geological  history  of  the  moors 
we  must  consider  the  origin  of  one  of  the  most  interesting 
hills  in  the  whole  district,  Freeborough  Hill  near  Moorsholm, 
which  affords  a  beautiful  illustration  of  the  principles  in- 
volved in  the  formation  of  moorland  land-forms  (Fig.  57). 
Long    rendered    a    landmark    of  note     by     its     singular 
conical  shape  and  isolation,  this  conspicuous  hill  stands  in 
the  south-western  angle  of  the  North  Cleveland  watershed, 
and  reaches  an  elevation  of  800  feet  above  the  sea,  and 
about  150  feet  above  the  surrounding  plain  or  Freeborough 
Skirt,  as  it  is  called.     And  yet,  notwithstanding  this  in- 
considerable altitude  it  can  be  seen  for  miles  around  ;   from 
Danby  Beacon,  from  the  heights  of  Huntcliff  and  Boulby, 
from  the  hills  above  Boosbeck,  and  from  many  other  points  of 
view  it  is  visible,  rising  like  a  large  tumulus  from  the  level 
of  the  adjacent  moors.     Indeed,  at  one  time,  Freeborough 
Hill  was  actually  regarded  as  an  ancient  grave  mound,  as 
testified  by  the  old  lines  : — 

"  Freeborough's  huge  mount,  immortal  Arthur's  tomb!  " 

Geologically,  as  we  have  formerly  stated,  the  hill  is  an  out- 
lier of  the  Kellaways  Rock  lying  in  the  synclinal  trough 
north  of  the  Esk.  By  due  recognition  of  the  geological 
structure  of  the  ground,  and  with  the  aid  of  the  various 
erosive  processes,  it  is  quite  possible  to  trace  not  only  the 
manner  in  which  Freeborough  Hill  was  formed,  but  also 
to  understand  why  similar  hills  do  not  exist  in  greater 

The  geological  structure  of  the  neighbourhood  can  be 
seen  on  the  annexed  sketch  map  (Fig.  58).  Speaking  of 
the  faults  in  this  locality  Mr.  Barrow  says  : — 

"  Close  to  the  south-west  corner  of  the  main  mass  of  the 
Kellaways  Rock  is  a  small  detached  portion  of  the  same 
bed,  evidently  bounded  on  the  east  side  by  a  fault.  This 
continues  for  some  distance  to  the  north-west,  and  must, 
near  Freeborough  Hill,  have  a  considerable  throw,  in  fact, 

241  Q 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

as  much  as  the  height  of  Freeborough,  if  not  more.  The 
Kellaways  Rock  on  Moorsholm  Moor  dips  sharply  north, 
and  would,  but  for  the  break  in  the  beds,  pass  completely 
under  this  hill.  As  this  rock  actually  caps  the  hill  it  is  easy 
to  see  roughly  the  amount  of  the  dislocation."* 

Now  it  is  to  be  observed  that  the  hill  stands  on  land 
between  the  head  waters  of  Kilton  Beck,  Haredale  on  the 
west  and  Haw  Rigg  Beck  on  the  east.  As  both  streams 
flow  over  the  faults,  they  have  evidently  cut  down  across 
them  from  higher  strata  which  have  long  since  been  removed, 
and  which  would  thus  appear  to  have  either  been  unfaulted, 
or  if  with  faults  these  made  no  show  at  the  surface.  To 
the  operation  of  these  streams  plus  atmospheric  and  spring 
erosion  (which  latter  would  be  active  here  owing  to  the  im- 
pervious Cornbrash  shales  throwing  up  water  that  had 
traversed  the  pervious  Kellaways  Rock),  is  therefore  due 
the  wearing  back  of  Freeborough  on  the  east,  north  and 

On  the  south  the  fault  appears  to  have  been  the  main 
factor  in  the  separation  of  the  outlier  from  Moorsholm  Rigg. 
For  with  the  removal  of  the  superincumbent  strata,  this 
break  would  always  be  a  line  of  weakness  along  which 
weathering  and  spring  erosion  would  work.  This  erosion 
and  the  fault  would  tend  to  form  a  scarp  or  cliff  running 
across  the  Rigg,  with  a  base  consisting  of  the  soft  Upper 
Estuarine  and  Cornbrash  Shales.  In  time  this  scarp  would 
gradually  recede  to  where  Freeborough  now  stands,  and 
form  the  south  side  of  the  hill.  If  it  be  objected  that  the 
fault  would  hardly  show  as  a  scarp,  the  reply  is  that  another 
fault  in  the  Kellaways  Rock  actually  shows  such  a  feature. 
This  occurs  just  west  of  Moorsholm  Rigg,  and  crosses  the 
Guisbrough  high  road,  where  Low  Brown  Hill  and  Brown 
Hill  mark  distinctly  the  position  and  amount  of  the  disloca- 
tion, and  the  different  levels  of  the  base  of  the  Kellaways 

*  "  Survey  Memoir,"  pp.  77-8. 
f  Barrow,  op.  cit. 


The    Cleveland   and    Hambleton    Hills 

We  now  have  a  block  of  rock  attacked  on  all  sides  by 
denudation  ;  two  stream  slopes  on  the  east  and  west,  the 
weather  and  springs  on  the  line  of  fault,  and  to  the  north 
the  natural  escarpment  of  the  Kellaways  Rock  weathered 
backwards.  Assailed  on  every  side,  the  outlier,  in  the  course 
of  ages,  was  gradually  reduced  to  its  present  dimensions  and 
completely  detached  from  the  surrounding  uplands.  The 
formation  of  the  hill  had  already  been  achieved  before  the 
Glacial  Period,  but  a  further  cause  must  then  have  operated 
to  deepen  the  depression  between  the  hill  and  the  Rigg. 
Professor  Kendall  has  shown  how  the  ice-sheets  swept 
into  this  corner  of  Cleveland,  and  impounded  the  waters  of 
Lockwood  Beck  and  Haredale,  causing  them  to  flow  along 
its  edge.  In  this  way  two  curious  dry  valleys  on  the  slopes 
of  Moorsholm  Rigg,  Hole  Skew  and  Spring  Head  Hole, 
were  excavated.  After  these  were  rendered  functionless 
by  a  recession  of  the  ice,  the  still  obstructed  drainage  must 
have  flowed  along  Freeborough  Skirt,  eastwards  or  west- 
wards as  the  case  may  have  been.  Hence  a  further  lowering 
of  the  flat  between  the  hill  and  the  Rigg. 

Freeborough  was  probably  completely  covered  by  glaciers, 
and  though  no  drift  is  found  on  the  summit,  yet  this  is 
singularly  rounded  and  is  in  marked  contrast  to  those  of 
Blakey  and  Roseberry  Toppings  which  stood  above  the  ice 

This  geological  history  of  Freeborough  Hill  receives  veri- 
fication when  compared  with  that  of  other  moorland  out- 
liers. That  of  Eston  is  the  most  remarkable  and  worthy 
of  some  attention,  since  not  only  does  it  confirm  the  origin 
of  Freeborough  Hill,  but  it  also  enables  us  to  understand 
the  patch  of  moorland  existing  there,  the  most  northerly 
moor  in  the  area  under  consideraton.  The  rocks  composing 
the  Eston  Hills  include  those  strata  lying  between  the 
Lower  Lias  and  the  Moor  Grit.  The  Fossiliferous  Grit  of 
the  Grey  Limestone  Series  occurs  on  the  outlier  towards 
the  western  end  where  it  forms  a  conspicuous  scarp  at  its 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

outcrop.  The  northern  face  of  the  Eston  Hills  appears  to 
have  arisen  from  the  erosion  of  the  rocks  backwards  from 
some  more  northerly  outcrop,  forming  part  of  the  right  bank 
of  the  Tees.  To  the  south  the  hills  are  separated  from  the 
main  escarpment  by  the  wide  Guisbrough  Valley,  the  origin 
of  which  is  by  no  means  apparent,  and  which  presents  several 
peculiar  features.  Between  Pinchingthorpe  Station  and 
Scugdale  Farm  in  the  valley  is  a  low  watershed  to  the  east 
of  which  all  the  streams  fall  into  Skelton  Beck.  These 
streams  have  their  source  in  small  valleys  in  the  southern 
escarpment  above  Hutton  Lowcross,  and  their  present  trend 
shows  that  in  pre-glacial  times  their  drainage  also  travelled 
in  that  direction.  West  of  the  watershed  there  is  no  definite 
stream,  but  only  artificial  channels  made  to  drain  the  low- 
lying  grounds. 

To  the  action  of  these  streams  must  be  ascribed  in  part 
the  origin  of  the  Guisbrough  Valley,  but  a  further  cause  must 
have  co-operated  to  render  it  wider  than  it  otherwise  would 
have  been.  For  the  Eston  Outlier  is  faulted  along  its 
southern  side,  the  amount  of  the  downthrow  varying  from 
300  to  400  feet,  and  bringing  the  Oolite  against  the  base  of 
the  Lias.  There  can  be  little  doubt  that  this  would  con- 
stitute a  line  of  weakness,  owing  to  the  fact  that  the  softer 
rocks  of  the  Upper  Lias  would  be  much  exposed  on  the 
south  and  thus  be  worn  back  rapidly  on  that  side.  West 
of  the  before-mentioned  watershed  this  fault  would  also 
operate,  and,  with  the  recession  of  the  escarpment  on  the 
west,  the  streams  flowing  into  Skelton  Beck  would  be  be- 
headed. That  the  fault  has  had  influence  in  making  the 
Guisbrough  Valley  as  wide  as  it  is  at  present  is  confirmed 
by  the  sudden  narrowing  of  the  valley  of  Skelton  Beck 
between  Upleatham  and  Airy  Hills.  The  south  end  of 
the  former  hill  is  intersected  by  a  continuation  of  the 
fault  here  possessing  a  downthrow  of  twelve  feet  only, 
which  would  have  little  influence  in  the  formation  of  the 
valley  of  Skelton  Beck. 


The    Cleveland    and    Hambleton    Hills 

Thus  it  is  probable  that  the  Eston  Hills  owe  their  preser- 
vation to  this  great  fault,  but  the  conditions  are  the  opposite 
to  what  they  are  at  Freeborough.  In  other  words,  the  Eston 
Outlier  and  Moorsholm  Rigg  correspond,  both  being  the 
downthrow  side  of  the  fault  ;  whilst  the  Guisbrough  escarp- 
ment and  Freebrough  Hill  correspond,  both  being  the 
upthrow  side  of  the  fault. 

We  have  now  concluded  our  account  of  the  origin  of  the 
Cleveland  and  Hambleton  Hills,  and  indirectly  the  northern 
and  western  boundaries  of  the  moors  which  follow  more  or 
less  closely  the  summits  and  slopes  of  this  range  of  uplands. 
Although  at  first  sight  resembling  sea-cliffs,  we  have  seen 
that  they  can  be  accounted  for  by  subaerial  denudation 
acting  throughout  immense  periods  of  time.  It  is  not, 
however,  impossible  that  the  sea  may  have  had  something 
to  do  with  their  shaping,  but  all  records  of  this  incursion 
of  "  ocean's  wide  domain  "  appear  to  have  utterly  vanished. 



ASSOCIATED  with  the  moorland  vegetation  is  a 
characteristic  suite  of  animals  adapted  not  only 
to  the  general  conditions  of  life  on  the  uplands, 
but  also  to  the  plants,  to  which  they  are  largely 
indebted  for  sustenance  and  shelter.  Apart  from 
their  own  intrinsic  interest  these  animals  cannot  be 
disregarded  even  in  a  botanical  account  of  the  moors,  for 
whatever  has  been  the  history  of  the  plants  must  have  vitally 
affected  and  largely  determined  the  status  of  the  ericetal 
fauna.  If  the  evolution  of  the  fauna  proceeded  pari  passu 
with  that  of  the  flora,  both  animals  and  plants  should  possess 
features  in  common  owing  to  parallelism  of  development. 
Hence,  before  we  can  consider  the  moor  problem  as  com- 
pletely investigated,  we  must  examine  the  fauna  to  ascertain 
what  data  it  will  reveal  concerning  the  origin  of  the 

As  in  the  case  of  the  flora  so  with  the  fauna  ;  it  may  be 
considered  from  two  points  of  view.  The  first  treats  of  the 
fauna  as  it  is  at  present,  its  species  and  their  distribution, 
its  division  into  natural  groups  or  associations,  the  habits 
and  adaptations  of  its  diverse  components  to  their  con- 
ditions of  life,  and  above  all  furnishes  data  whereby  its 
origin  can  be  elucidated.  The  other  treats  of  the  origin 
and  history  of  the  animals  which  live  upon  the  moors, 
their  lines  of  past  migration  and  distribution,  and  the 
changes  which  the  fauna  has  undergone  in  relation  to 
former  climates  and  former  geographical  conditions  ;  more 
especially  it  considers  the  evolution  of  the  fauna  and  the 
causes  which  have  contributed  to  that  evolution.     In  dealing 


Animal  Life  on  the  Moors 

with  this  complex  problem  we  find  that  our  enquiries,  as  in 
the  case  of  the  plants,  are  rendered  difficult  by  the  lack  of 
palaeontological  evidence.  Seeing  that  the  typical  ericetal 
animals  are  chiefly  insects  which  leave  few  fossilised  remains, 
palaeontology  necessarily  furnishes  no  direct  clue  to  their 
past  history.  Hence  an  interpretation  of  the  moorland 
fauna  must  be  largely  speculative. 

The  chief  data  to  be  employed  in  investigating  the  problem 
are  : — the  consideration  of  the  geographical  distribution  of 
the  ericetal  animals  and  their  near  allies,  together  with  the 
nature  of  the  climates  to  which  they  are  adapted  ;  and  the 
combination  of  these  facts  with  the  history  of  the  moorland 
plants,  and  the  changes  of  climate  which  have  occurred  with- 
in recent  geological  times.  Uniting  the  two  sets  of  data  we 
shall  find  that,  by  this  means,  a  tolerably  clear  idea  can  be 
obtained  of  the  history  of  the  fauna  of  the  moors. 

Although  there  is  no  direct  evidence  as  to  the  character 
of  the  pre-glacial  fauna  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands,  neverthe- 
less the  mammalian  remains  discovered  in  the  famous 
Kirkdale  Cave  near  Kirby  Moorside  throw  an  indirect  light 
upon  the  matter.  As  is  well-known,  this  cave  was  formerly 
a  hyaena  den,  into  which  these  animals  carried  the  bones  of 
the  reindeer,  Irish  elk,  bison,  cave  bear,  lion,  hippopotamus, 
rhinoceros  and  horse.  It  seems  probable  that  the  occu- 
pants of  the  cave  flourished  in  pre-glacial  times,  for  the 
mammalian  remains  found  in  the  post-glacial  peat  bogs  only 
comprise,  at  any  rate  in  Cleveland,  those  of  the  red  deer, 
reindeer,  wild  boar,  and  wild  ox,  but  not  such  animals  as 
the  hyaena,  mammoth,  rhinoceros  or  hippopotamus. 

From  fossil  remains  it  cannot  be  proved  that  all  the 
moorland  birds  and  insects  existed  in  pre-glacial  times, 
though  it  is  extremely  probable  that  they  flourished  in  the 
late  Pliocene  or  even  earlier.  The  identity  of  numerous 
later  Tertiary  mollusca,  plants  and  mammals  with  those 
of  to-day,  points  to  this  conclusion  ;  but  on  the  whole, 
the  pre-glacial  fauna  of  the  district,  as  the  remains  from 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Kirkdale  show,  must  have  been  richer  in  species.     Arguing 
from  these  remains,  it  seems  reasonable  to  infer  that  the 
insects  of  the  pre-glacial  age,  or  Pliocene,  must  have  pre- 
sented similar  features  to  the  mammalia  ;   that  is,  an  inter- 
mingling of  African,  northern,  and  temperate  species,  although 
of  this  we  have  no  palaeontological  evidence.     Nor  does 
there  appear  to  be  any  trace  left  in  the  present  insect  fauna 
of  the  extreme  southern  species  of  pre-glacial  times.     In 
this   respect   they   agree   with   the   post-glacial   mammals, 
and  it  has  therefore  been  concluded  that  the  Ice  Age  must 
have  been  the  chief  factor  in  exterminating  the  southern 
forms.     So  far  as  we  can  tell  the  origin  of  our  familiar 
moorland  birds  and  insects  goes  back  to  a  time  anterior 
to  the  Ice  Age,  though,  as  I  hope  hereafter  to  show,  some 
species  may  have  been  evolved  since  the  close  of  that  period. 
As  stated  in  Chapter  VIII.  all  the  species  of  a  genus  have 
descended    from  some  proximate  or  remoter  ancestor,  and 
it  has  been  argued  that  wherever  we  find  them  most  numer- 
ous, such  a  locality  must  be  regarded  as  a  centre  of  origin 
or  distribution,  from  which  the  various  forms  have  radiated 
to  the  furthest  limits  of  the  range  of  the  genus.     In  many 
instances,   however,  a  genus  appears  to  have  no  definite 
centre  of  distribution  ;    its  species  are  spread  over  wide 
areas  without  any  marked  concentration  in  any  one  region. 
Again,  where  the  species  of  a  genus  are  most  numerous  at 
present,  palaeontology  proves  that  this  was  not  formerly 
the  case.     Particularly  clear  is  this  qualification  in  a  group 
of  marine  bivalve  mollusca,  Astarte,  found  on  the  Yorkshire 
coast,  which  now  attains  its  maximum  development  in  cold 
northern  seas,  whereas  in  Jurassic  times — the  Corallian  stage 
— the  same  group  was  most  strongly  represented  in  mid- 
European,   semi-tropical    and    corallian    seas.      Similar  in- 
stances occur  amongst  other  genera  of  both  land  and  marine 
animals.     In   the   case   of   insects,   therefore,   where   fossil 
evidence  is  very  deficient  or  altogether  fails,  speculations 
as  to  their  centres  of  origin  must  be  hazardous.     A  further 


Fig.  59. — Head  of  Moor  Sheep. 

Animal  Life  on  the  Moors 

qualification  is  necessary  if  the  present  distribution  is  such 
as  to  show  that  the  species  cannot  have  originated  in  an  area 
where  there  is  a  decided  multiplication  of  forms.  A  common 
British  beetle  {Creophilus  maxillosus)  well  illustrates  this 
point.  The  genus  contains  half-a-dozen  species  in  New 
Zealand,  one  in  South  America,  and  the  British  form.  But 
we  can  hardly  say  that  New  Zealand  is  to  be  regarded  as 
the  place  of  origin  of  Creophilus,  for  the  distribution  of  the 
species  evidently  took  place  when  the  configuration  of  land 
and  water  was  quite  different,  and  the  actual  centre  of  origin 
may  have  been  in  lands  now  beneath  the  sea. 

Despite  these  qualifications,  however,  we  may  accept  the 
theory  of  centres  of  distribution  on  the  ground  that  wherever 
species  are  numerous  in  any  given  area,  they  must  have 
become  adapted  to  the  life  conditions  in  that  area,  especially 
if  these  conditions  are  of  a  strongly  marked  kind,  as  for 
example  in  the  Grouse  genus.  When  the  distribution  of  a 
group  of  species  belonging  to  different  genera  of  insects  and 
the  plants  on  which  they  feed  points  to  some  fairly  distinct 
geographical  region,  we  may  conclude  with  some  confidence 
that  they  have  both  arisen  in  that  area  ;  and  here  we  per- 
ceive wherein  lies  the  great  advantage  of  comparing  the 
elements  of  a  faunal  association,  if  we  may  so  term  those 
distinct  assemblages  of  animals  which  live  on  moors,  coast 
sand-dunes,  coast  cliffs,  and  in  salt  marshes,  fields,  woods 
or  swamps.  If  we  tried  to  ascertain  the  special  history 
of  each  species  we  should  assuredly  fail  in  many  instances  ; 
whereas  by  endeavouring  to  ascertain  the  history  of  a  faunal 
group  by  observing  what  is  common  in  the  distribution  of 
its  diverse  components,  we  obtain  a  more  or  less  definite 
insight  into  the  history  of  each  species  of  the  association. 
A  concrete  illustration  of  these  indispensable  preliminary 
remarks  we  shall  find  in  the  origin  and  evolution  of  the  fauna 
of  the  moors,  the  members  of  which  we  may  proceed  to 
discuss  in  more  detail,  beginning  with  the  highest  forms 
and  working  down  to  the  lowest. 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

The  moors  possess  no  endemic  mammalia,  those  species 
which  occur  being  stragglers  from  the  woods  and  cultivated 
areas.  Rabbits  are  not  unusual  on  heathy  pastures,  such 
as  Dalby  Warren  near  Pickering.  Hares  may  frequently  be 
found  on  the  lower  moors  bordering  the  valleys,  and  I  have 
seen  numbers  of  them  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Falcon  Inn. 

The  moorland  foxes  are  celebrated,  and  differ  a  good  deal 
in  colour  from  lowland  Reynards,  being  of  a  markedly  grey 
or  even  silvery  hue.  I  am  indebted  to  Mr.  J.  Fairfax  Blake- 
borough,  the  well-known  sporting  journalist,  for  the  following 
interesting  note  concerning  them  : — 

"  There  can  be  little  doubt  that  the  true  hill-fox  is  quite 
different  from  the  low  country  fox  ;  though  this  has  been 
less  apparent  in  later  years  when  to  re-stock  the  countries 
where  mange  has  played  such  havoc,  litters  have  been  brought 
from  the  hills  and  fastened  down  in  low  country  coverts  ; 
whilst  for  some  years  there  has  been  a  continuous  trade 
between  England  and  Scotland  in  foxes,  no  hunting  taking 
place  in  the  Highlands.  The  hill  dog  foxes  do  visit  the  low 
country  in  the  breeding  season  ;  of  that  there  is  no  doubt, 
as  we  occasionally  find  them  with  hounds,  and  have  wonder- 
ful runs  to  some  earth  on  the  moors,  of  which  no  low  country 
fox  could  know.  It  is  an  interesting  fact,  however,  that 
when  the  Hurworth  and  Cleveland  foxes  were  dying  on  all 
sides  with  mange  in  the  low  country,  in  the  Bilsdale  and 
Farndale  countries  (the  hills  and  moors  immediately  above) 
the  foxes  were  quite  clean,  which  would  show  the  hill  foxes 
do  not  use  low  country  earths  or  associate  with  low  country 
foxes  except  when  breeding.  The  hill  foxes  have  their 
earths  on  the  moors,  whilst  they  use  old  jet  workings  very 
frequently.  I  should  say  the  big  moorland  fox  is  now  very 
scarce,  though  crosses  are  frequently  met  with.  You  will 
very  rarely  find  a  lowland  fox  take  to  the  moors  but  once 
a  moorland  (hill)  fox  always  a  hill  fox." 

Sir  Alfred  Pease  states  that  the  fox  hounds  of  the  Cleve- 
land district  are  lighter  in  colour  than  other  packs  in  order 


Animal  Life  on  the  Moors 

that  they  may  be  more  easily  seen  against  the  dark  heath 

Passing  over  the  mole,  whose  general  absence  from  the 
moors  has  already  been  commented  upon  (Chapter  II.), 
and  merely  noting  that  occasionally  mice  and  voles  occur, 
whose  distribution  over  the  moorlands  has  yet  to  be  worked 
out,  we  must  pay  some  attention  to  an  animal  which, 
though  domesticated,  is  nevertheless  an  essential  element 
in  the  fauna,  the  black-faced  moorland  sheep  (Fig.  59). 
Belonging  to  the  most  vigorous  and  most  courageous 
race  of  their  kind  in  Britain,  and  characterised  by 
their  black  and  white  faces  and  limbs,  and  their  coarse  and 
shaggy  wool,  these  animals  are  a  harmonious  and  familiar 
feature  of  the  animal  life.  More  or  less  present  everywhere, 
they  exercise  no  little  influence  upon  the  vegetation. 
Swards  of  grass  are  nibbled  down  to  a  smooth  turf ;  Furze 
bushes  are  also  eaten  when  the  young  and  spineless  shoots 
begin  to  sprout,  and  in  this  way  arise  the  singular  irregular 
shapes  of  these  shrubs  ;  young  shoots  of  Heather  and  seed- 
ling trees  are  also  subject  to  their  depredations.  But  the 
most  important  change  effected  by  these  ruminants  is  in 
manuring  the  soil  with  their  droppings.  Everyone  will 
have  noticed  how  walks  frequented  by  sheep  become  grassy, 
and  such  walks  often  run  for  miles  through  the  Heather. 
Their  dung  improves  the  peaty  soil,  and  enables  a  better 
class  of  plants,  from  the  agricultural  point  of  view,  to  grow  ; 
whilst,  if  the  animals  are  kept  in  large  enclosures,  grass  has 
a  tendency  to  prevail  within  the  enclosed  area,  and  by  this 
means  poor  heathy  land  can  be  greatly  improved,  so  that 
there  is  much  truth  in  the  Spanish  saying,  "  the  golden  foot 
of  the  sheep."  What  we  here  observe  to  be  a  cause  under 
domestication  may  well  have  acted  as  a  cause  in  Nature. 
Where  wild  sheep  are  abundant  their  presence  must  exert 
a  considerable  influence  upon  the  plant  life  ;    and  if  they 

*  "  Cleveland  Hounds  as  a  Trencher-fed  Pack,"  Sir  Alfred  Pease,  Bart. 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

frequently  change  their  haunts,  or  if  in  former  ages  they 
were  compelled  to  move  from  one  country  to  another, 
similar  influences  must  have  operated  more  powerfully. 

The  moor  sheep  closely  resemble  in  colour  the  numerous 
boulders  of  grey  grit  so  characteristic  of  the  uplands.  This 
resemblance  is  noticeable  even  in  daylight  ;  but  in  the 
evening,  when  dark  shadows  fall  across  the  moors,  it  is  quite 
impossible  at  a  little  distance  to  discriminate  between  a 
scattering  of  grey  gritstones  and  a  flock  of  sheep  at  rest 
upon  a  slope.  Undoubtedly  the  resemblance  is  accidental 
so  far  as  this  district  is  concerned,  but  it  supplies  reason 
for  the  harmony  existing  between  the  "  black  faces  "  and 
their  environment.  I  suspect,  however,  that  this  harmony 
is  of  remoter  origin,  for  where  do  we  find  sheep  most 
numerous  in  the  wild  state  ?  On  mountains  and  mountain 
slopes,  to  which  habitats  they  have  become  adapted,  and 
to  the  boulders  and  crags  of  which  their  colours  doubtless 
assimilate  as  a  protection  against  the  raids  of  carnivora  ;  so 
that  on  our  moors  the  sheep  are  kept  under  conditions 
approaching  those  of  their  ancestors  in  the  mountains  of 
Europe  and  Asia.  The  resemblance  may  even  be  more 
adaptive  than  we  suppose,  though  it  ceased  to  be  of  utility 
to  the  animal  after  the  disappearance  of  all  wolves,  bears 
and  other  carnivora  from  Britain.  Whether  wild  sheep  ever 
flourished  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  we  cannot  definitely 
say,  but  in  the  pre-glacial  Forest  Bed  of  Norfolk  the 
remains  of  a  species  have  been  found.  But  this  is  not 
sufficient  evidence  from  which  to  conclude  that  it  was 
ever  numerous  even  in  suitable  localities.  All  we  can  say 
is  that  our  uplands  and  mountains  have  been,  from  remote 
times,  as  now,  suitable  habitats  for  sheep,  as  the  domesti- 
cated flocks  that  live  in  these  places  abundantly  testify. 

Turning  to  the  bird  life,  there  are  only  four  species  strictly 
confined  to  the  Heather  lands.  These  four  are  the  Red 
Grouse  (Lagopus  scoticus),  (Fig.  60),  the  Merlin  (Falco  cesalon), 
the  Ring  Ouzel  (Merula  torquata),  and  the  Twite  or  Mountain 












Animal  Life  on  the  Moors 

Linnet  (Cannabina  flavirostris) .  Formerly  other  species 
were  frequent  as  breeders,  especially  the  three  Harriers, 
one  of  which,  the  Marsh  Harrier,  was  locally  known  as  the 
Moor  Buzzard  or  Moor  Hawk,  proving  that  it  occurred  in 
sufficient  abundance  to  merit  a  popular  name  indicative  of 
its  favourite  haunts.  The  Buzzard,  the  Raven  and  the  Black 
Cock  were  at  one  time  inhabitants  of  the  moors — the  Raven 
being  particularly  numerous.  Black  Game — birds  of  woods 
rather  than  of  heaths — bred  near  Commondale  until  1847, 
and  a  few  are  still  seen  occasionally.*  Doubtless  in  past 
centuries  others,  such  as  kites,  eagles,  herons,  bitterns  and 
the  rarer  marsh  species  formed  a  not  inconsiderable  part 
of  the  moorland  avi-fauna  ;  not  that  these  species  would 
be  restricted  to  the  moors,  but  their  breeding  and  feeding 
haunts,  being  in  the  wilder  and  craggier  corners  of  the  dales, 
would  lead  them  to  adopt  a  more  or  less  moorland  life. 

Other  very  characteristic  ericetal  birds  are  the  Curlew, 
the  Golden  Plover,  the  Lapwing  and  the  Snipe,  and  though 
regular  visitors  to,  and  breeders  on  the  uplands,  they  are 
not  confined  to  them,  generally  moving  in  the  winter  to 
the  lower  grounds  and  the  estuaries  of  the  coast.  To  des- 
cribe their  habits  is  superfluous,  since  this  has  been  done  a 
thousand  times  by  ornithologists.  The  same  remark  applies 
to  the  Meadow  Pipit  (or  "moor  tahtling"  in  the  local  dialect), 
so  extremely  numerous  all  over  the  district  from  sea  level 
to  the  highest  point.  It  is  one  of  the  few  birds  that  possess 
a  complete  altitudinal  range.  Occasionally  the  Quail  nests 
upon  the  moors,  and  another  species  rarely  seen  but  more 
frequently  heard,  especially  near  woods,  is  the  Nightjar, 
whose  "  churr "  on  quiet  summer  evenings  sounds  far 
and  wide. 

Where  ponds  exist,  Wild  Duck  and  Teal  will  breed,  as  on 
Wapley  Moor  ;  but  these  species  cannot  be  regarded  as 
moorland  birds.     The  same  may  be  said  of  rare  stragglers, 

*  Nelson,  "  Birds  of  Yorkshire,"  to  which  I  am  indebted  for  many- 
facts  adduced  in  this  chapter. 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Geese,  Night  Herons,  Goshawks,  Sand  Grouse  and  others. 
Not  belonging  to  the  moors  they  call  for  very  little  attention 
at  our  hands,  and  though  interesting  from  a  faunistic  point 
of  view,  are  of  no  vital  importance  in  the  present  moorland 
avi-fauna,  whatever  they  may  have  been  in  the  past. 

The  four  moorland  birds  proper  now  demand  further 
notice,  though  even  these  are  often  found  away  from  their 
usual  habitats.  The  Ring  Ouzel  is  a  summer  visitor  ;  the 
Twite  moves  south  in  flocks,  and  is  frequently  seen  on  the 
coast  and  in  marshes  during  the  winter  ;  the  bold  blue 
Merlin  generally  leaves  the  moors  for  the  lowlands  in  winter, 
and  many  perhaps  leave  the  district  in  autumn,  returning 
again  in  the  spring  ;  the  Red  Grouse  is  the  moor  bird  par 
excellence,  feeding  solely  upon  the  ericetal  plants  and  living 
on  the  uplands  all  the  year  round,  save  when  in  very  wintery 
weather,  being  unable  to  obtain  food  beneath  the  frozen 
snow,  it  resorts  to  the  fields  and  has  even  been  seen  on  the 
seashore ! 

Universally  distributed  over  the  moors  of  Yorkshire, 
where  it  probably  attains  its  largest  size  and  finest  plumage 
in  Britain,  the  Red  Grouse  is  usually  considered  to  be  a  species 
peculiar  to  the  British  Islands,  though  very  closely  related 
to,  and  by  some  authorities  regarded  as  a  local  race  of  the 
Willow  Grouse  or  Ripa  ( Lagopus  albus)  of  Scandinavia,  from 
which  it  differs  solely  in  the  absence  of  a  white  winter  plumage 
and  in  the  presence  of  blackish  brown  flight  feathers.  Mr. 
Ogilvie-Grant,  our  greatest  authority  on  game  birds,  regards 
it  as  one  of  the  most  variable  birds  in  existence.*  There  are 
three  types  of  male  plumage — a  red  form,  a  black  form,  and 
a  white-spotted  form  ;  the  first  is  found  chiefly  on  the  low 
grounds  of  Ireland,  the  west  coast  of  Scotland  and  Outer 
Hebrides  ;  the  second  is  typically  developed  on  the  moors 
of  northern  Scotland  ;  whilst  the  third  is  rarely  found  pure. 
The  female,  according  to  the  same  authority,  has  no  fewer 

*  "  Catalogue  of  Birds,  British  Museum,"  Vol.  XXII. 


Animal  Life  on  the  Moors 

than  five  distinct  types  of  plumage — red,  black,  white- 
spotted,  buff-spotted  and  buff-barred.  Of  these,  the  buff- 
spotted  is  the  most  frequent,  the  others  being  comparatively 

Mr.  T.  H.  Nelson  informs  me  that  the  usual  types  of 
colouration  in  Cleveland  are  the  red  and  white-spotted 
forms,  whilst  occasionally  other  varieties  occur — black,  and 
black-breasted  cocks,  the  hens  being  generally  spotted. 
He  also  adds  : — "  There  is  a  light  form  which  is  supposed 
to  come  from  the  west,  and  the  keepers  call  this  '  Lancashire 
Dun,'  it  usually  appears  in  September  or  October.  .  .  . 
I  also  think  the  birds  are  partly  migratory." 

Without  going  into  details  concerning  the  habits  of  this 
unique  bird,  it  is  sufficient  to  say  that  the  eggs  are  deposited 
in  April  and  May  in  a  grass-lined  hollow  amongst  the  Heather. 
Being  sheltered  by  the  tall  Ling  stems  the  hen  bird  is  not  seen 
on  her  nest  ;  and  in  June  1901,  when  walking  through  the 
Heather  at  the  head  of  Baysdale,  I  accidently  stepped  upon 
a  Grouse  sitting  upon  her  eggs.  As  the  bird  rose  without  a 
sound  from  under  my  foot  nearly  all  the  feathers  came  out 
of  her  tail.  The  eggs  proved  to  be  on  the  point  of  hatching. 
The  Red  Grouse  belongs  to  a  genus  of  birds  limited  in 
number  and  of  circumpolar  distribution,  as  will  be  seen 
from  the  following  facts  relative  to  the  different  species, 
and  as  represented  on  the  annexed  map  (Fig.  61). 

Willow  Grouse  (Lagopus  albus). — North  Europe,  north 
Asia,  North  America  and  Greenland.  A  bird  of  the 
Ptarmigan  (Lagopus  mutus). — Scotland,  the  mountains 
of  Europe  as  far  south  as  the  Alps  and  Pyrenees, 
eastwards  to  the  Ural  Mountains. 
Rock  Ptarmigan  (Lagopus  rupestris). — Very  closely 
related  to  the  Ptarmigan,  and  in  winter  indistinguish- 
able from  it.  Iceland,  Greenland,  Newfoundland, 
Arctic  America,  Aleutian  and  Behring  Islands,  Japan 
and  north  Asia  as  far  west  as  the  Urals. 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Spitzbergen  Ptarmigan  {Lagopus  hyperboreus). — Spitz- 

White-tailed  Ptarmigan  [Lagopus  leucurus). — Only 
found  towards  the  summits  of  the  Rocky  Moun- 
tains ;  south  to  New  Mexico  ;  north  to  Fort  Halket, 
British  America ;  west  to  Oregon,  Washington 
Territory,  and  British  Columbia.* 

On  analysing  these  facts  nothing  very  definite  as  to  the 
centre  of  origin  of  the  genus  can  be  ascertained,  except  in 
so  far  that  the  birds  must  have  originated  at  a  time  when 
land  connections  existed  around  the  circumpolar  regions, 
or  otherwise  their  distribution  is  inexplicable,  seeing  that 
the  species  live  in  Greenland,  Iceland,  north  Europe,  and 
North  America.  Excluding  the  special  Spitzbergen  Ptar- 
migan, and  uniting  the  Red  Grouse  with  the  Ripa,  and  the 
Ptarmigan  with  the  Rock  Ptarmigan,  we  find  that  the  two 
forms  occur  in  Europe,  north  Asia,  and  North  America, 
where  we  meet  also  with  a  peculiar  species,  the  White- 
tailed  Ptarmigan  of  the  Rocky  Mountains.  This  seems  to 
suggest  a  North  American  origin  for  this  genus,  but  the 
inference  is  too  uncertain  to  be  of  much  value.  Glancing 
at  the  other  members  of  the  grouse  family — the  Tetraonidae 
— we  observe  that  the  Black  Grouse  ( Lyurus)  live  in  Europe 
and  north  Asia  ;  the  Sharp- winged  Grouse  ( Falcipennis)  in 
north-east  Asia  ;  the  Capercailzies  ( Tetrad)  in  Europe  and 
Asia;  the  Canadian  Grouse  (Canachites),  the  American 
Capercailzies  (Dendragapus),  the  Pinnated  Grouse  (Tym- 
panuchus),  the  Sage  Grouse  (Centrocercus),  the  Sharp-tailed 
Grouse  (Pediczcetes) ,  the  Ruffed  Grouse  (Bonasa)  live  in  North 
America  ;  and  the  Hazel  Hens  ( Tetrastes)  in  Europe  and  in 
in  north  and  central  Asia.  Thus,  no  fewer  than  seven 
genera  (including  Lagopus)  are  found  in  North  America  at- 
against  four  genera  peculiar  to  Europe  and  Asia  ;  the  num- 
ber of  species  in  America  being  fourteen  and  in  Europe 

*  "  British  Museum  Catalogue  of  Birds,"  Vol.  XXII. 




Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

eight,  whilst  nine  occur  in  Asia.  Amongst  these,  there 
are  twelve  species  peculiar  to  North  America,  four  are 
peculiar  to  North  Asia,  and  three  are  peculiar  to  Europe 
(including  the  Red  Grouse).  The  Ripa  occurs  throughout 
the  circumpolar  region  ;  the  Rock  Ptarmigan  is  found  in 
North  America  and  Asia  ;  whilst  three  of  the  group  in- 
habit both  Europe  and  Asia. 

These  facts  seem  to  indicate  that  the  original  centre  for 
the  family  was  North  America,  and  this  confirms  the  supposed 
origin  of  Grouse  (Lagopus).  In  this  continent  remains  of  the 
Sharp-winged  Grouse  have  been  detected  in  the  Pliocene 
of  Oregon,  which  proves  that  the  modern  genera  had  already 
arisen  before  the  Ice  Age.  If,  therefore,  we  suppose  Grouse 
and  Ptarmigan  to  have  been  evolved  in  North  Ameiica, 
the  genus  gradually  adapted  itself  to  the  on-coming  cold  of 
the  circumpolar  regions  after  the  warm  Miocene  climates 
(revealed  by  the  fossil  floras  of  Greenland)  were  passing 
away.  It  is  then  that  the  birds  would  acquire  their  white 
winter  plumage  in  adjustment  to  the  Arctic  conditions. 
The  Ptarmigan  with  its  sub-specific  variety,  the  Rock  Ptarmi- 
gan, spread  westwards  into  Asia  and  thence  into  Europe, 
or  eastwards  to  Greenland  and  Iceland  into  Europe  by  old 
land  surfaces.  The  same  may  be  said  of  the  Ripa,  which, 
since  it  also  occurs  in  Greenland,  must  have  entered  that 
country  either  from  North  America  or  northern  Europe. 
Land  connections  with  north  Europe  in  pre-glacial  times 
led  to  the  colonisation  of  Scotland  by  the  Ptarmigan  ;  a 
colonisation  accelerated  by  the  advent  of  the  Ice  Age  which 
would  tend  to  spread  these  birds,  together  with  the  Willow 
Grouse,  southwards.  The  complete  glaciation  of  Britain 
caused  them  to  pass  still  further  south  beyond  the  limits 
of  the  ice-sheets,  and  even  into  France,  as  is  testified  by 
their  bones  having  been  discovered  in  the  cave  of  Bruniquel, 
near  Montauban.*     It  is  an  open  question  whether  these 

*  "  Catalogue  of  Fossil  Birds  in  the  British  Museum,"  by  R.  Lyd- 
deker,  p.  134. 


Animal  Life  on  the  Moors 

birds  did  not  live  throughout  the  Ice  Age  on  the  Eastern 
Moorlands,  seeing  that  both  the  Willow  Grouse  and  the 
close  ally  of  the  Ptarmigan,  the  Rock  Ptarmigan,  live  in 
Greenland  ;  but  whether  they  did  so  or  not  does  not  materi- 
ally affect  their  history. 

On  the  return  of  milder  climatic  conditions  the  birds 
retreated  northwards,  the  Ptarmigan  to  be  confined 
ultimately  to  the  Scottish  mountains  in  Britain  ;  but 
the  Willow  Grouse  remained  in  England,  became  adapted 
to  the  special  conditions  of  moorland  life,  and  there  origin- 
ated the  Red  Grouse.  It  does  not  appear  at  all  likely  that 
this  bird  existed  pre-glacially,  its  extremely  limited  British 
distribution  suggests  a  post-glacial  origin.  Parallel  cases 
are  met  with  in  the  Orkney  vole  and  the  St.  Kilda  wren, 
which  must  have  arisen  in  the  respective  islands  since  tha 
Glacial  Period.  That  the  Willow  Grouse  could  easily  assume 
a  purely  moorland  life  may  be  inferred  from  its  habits, 
living  chiefly  amongst  Birch  and  Willow  trees,  where  it  feeds 
on  the  shoots,  on  moorland  berries,  and  also  on  the  shoots 
of  Bilberry.  We  have  already  noticed  the  ericetal  woods 
in  the  district  which  we  are  investigating,  and  so  can  easily 
understand  how  the  changing  Willow  Grouse  passed  into  the 
Red  Grouse  by  adopting  an  ericetal  instead  of  an  arboreal 
life.  When  we  treat  of  the  insects  of  the  moors  we  shall 
again  find  this  community  of  Birch  feeders  and  Heather 
feeders,  the  association  of  the  two  plants  having  caused 
various  kinds  of  moths  to  pass  from  the  one  to  the  other. 

During  and  immediately  after  the  Ice  Age,  the  British 
Ripas  whose  descendants  were  to  become  the  Red  Grouse, 
would  practically  be  identical  with  the  present  continental 
species  so  far  as  plumage  was  concerned.  That  is  to  say 
there  would  be  three  moults — in  spring,  autumn  and  winter  ; 
and  in  the  latter  season  both  cocks  and  hens  would  be 
more  or  less  pure  white  in  colour.  With  the  changing  life 
conditions  of  post-glacial  times,  however,  and  with  the 
development  of  moors  from  the  Arctic  plant  communities, 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

this  white  winter  plumage  would  become  unnecessary  and 
even  dangerous  to  its  wearers.  For  white  birds  would  be  ex- 
ceedingly conspicuous  on  the  dark  moorlands,  thus  rendering 
them  easy  victims  to  birds  of  prey.  The  elimination  of  the 
white  winter  plumage  of  the  Willow  Grouse  would  be  for- 
warded by  the  process  of  natural  selection,  only  the  darker 
birds  surviving.  Doubtless  the  influence  of  the  climate 
and  the  environment  upon  the  colour  of  the  feathers  may 
have  assisted  in  the  formation  of  the  present  dark  race  ;  but 
the  transition  from  the  white-plumaged  Willow  Grouse  to 
the  dark-plumaged  Red  Grouse  though  achieved  in  this  way 
has  produced  further  results  that  are  very  remarkable,  and 
that  emphasise  the  difference  between  the  two  species.  The 
researches  of  Mr.  Ogilvie-Grant  have  revealed  the  fact  that 
the  Red  Grouse  has  only  two  moults  in  the  year  and  not 
three  as  in  the  case  of  the  Willow  Grouse.  Further,  he  has 
been  able  to  prove  by  a  careful  study  of  the  extensive  series 
of  specimens  in  the  British  Museum,  that  these  two  moults 
occur  at  different  seasons  of  the  year  in  the  two  sexes,  viz., 
in  spring  and  autumn  in  the  hen,  and  in  autumn  and  winter 
in  the  cocks — a  fact  "  without  parallel  amongst  birds  even 
of  the  genus."  The  conclusions  Mr.  Ogilvie-Grant  arrives 
at  are  as  follows  : — "  The  male  has  no  distinct  summer 
plumage,  but  changes  in  autumn  and  again  in  winter, 
retaining  the  latter  plumage  till  the  following  autumn  after 
the  breeding  season  ;  whilst  the  female  has  a  distinct  summer 
plumage  complete  by  the  end  of  April,  and  also  a  distinct 
autumn  plumage,  but  never  assumes  a  distinct  winter  garb, 
retaining  her  autumn  plumage  until  the  following  spring."* 
The  dropping  of  a  moult  would  always  be  an  economy 
to  the  birds  especially  in  the  female,  and  any  tendency  to 
the  omission  of  a  moult  would  be  of  great  advantage  in 
the  struggle  for  existence  during  post-glacial  times.  The 
three  moults  of  the  Ripa  and  Ptarmigan  have  evidently  been 

*  Op.  cit,.  p.  38  ;   which  also  see  for  descriptions  of  the  complicated 


Animal  Life  on  the  Moors 

acquired  in  adaptation  to  their  conditions  of  life,  and  the 
birds  were  in  all  probability  derived  from  ancestors  with  two 
moults,  one  in  spring  and  the  other  in  autumn.  Hence 
the  female  Red  Grouse  with  her  spring  and  autumn  moults 
has  probably  reverted  not  to  her  immediate  ancestors,  the 
Ripas,  but  to  those  remoter  ancestors  of  the  genus  before 
it  became  Arctic  in  its  habits.  When  the  Red  Grouse  was 
being  evolved  under  the  ameliorating  changes  of  post-glacial 
times,  it  would  be  an  immense  advantage  to  the  hens  to 
omit  the  winter  moult  ;  and  there  must  have  been  a  tendency 
for  some  of  the  autumn  feathers  to  be  retained  throughout 
the  winter,  a  variation  still  shown  by  many  of  the  autumn 
and  winter  feathers  of  the  hen  which  are  not  cast  but  merely 
change  colour.  Hence  by  the  natural  selection  of  such 
variations  which  would  be  of  great  service  to  the  bird,  the 
winter  moult  has  been  gradually  discarded  and  the  autumn 
plumage  made  to  last  throughout  the  winter.  The  spring 
moult  has  been  retained,  however,  on  account  of  its  adaptive 
necessity  when  the  hen  birds  sit  upon  their  nests  amongst  the 
moorland  vegetation. 

Male  Grouse,  in  their  assumption  of  a  dark  winter  plumage 
after  the  autumn  plumage,  still  retain  the  winter  moult  of 
their  ancestors,  the  Ripas,  the  change  of  colour  being  facili- 
tated by  the  extreme  variability  of  the  plumage,  and  by  the 
direct  action  of  the  environment  upon  the  colour  of  the 
feathers,  co-operating  with  natural  selection.  Cock  birds 
in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  as  already  mentioned,  are  often 
spotted  with  white  ;  a  feature  which  they  have  inherited 
from  the  Willow  Grouse,  for  these  white  spots  must  be  the 
last  relics  of  the  winter  plumage.  But  how  comes  it  that 
the  dark  winter  plumage  of  the  males  is  retained  until  the 
following  autumn,  and  that  there  is  no  spring  moult  as  in 
the  female  ?  As  the  cocks  possess  this  plumage  throughout 
the  spring  and  summer,  and  as  we  have  no  grounds  for 
thinking  it  other  than  adaptive,  we  probably  find  one  of 
the  reasons  for  the  omission  of  the  spring  moult  to  lie  in 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

the  circumstance  that  the  winter  plumage  harmonises  with 
the  general  tints  of  the  moorland  vegetation  from  winter  to 
summer,  when  the  pure  Heather  moors  remain  pretty  much 
the  same.  Owing  to  its  habits  the  cock  bird  does  not  require 
a  special  breeding  dress  to  render  him  invisible  amongst 
the  plants  as  in  the  case  of  the  hen  bird.  But  this  explana- 
tion is  not  sufficient,  for  how  was  the  omission  of  the  spring 
moult  initiated  ?  A  clue  to  this  problem  we  shall  find 
in  the  character  of  the  spring  moult  of  the  Willow  Grouse 
and  the  past  climatic  conditions  of  Great  Britain  in  Pleisto- 
cene times. 

Directly  after  the  Ice  Age  when  the  country  wa9  still 
Arctic,  the  British  Ripas  must  have  possessed  in  the  male  a 
tendency  to  retain  most  of  their  white  winter  feathers,  as 
is  the  case  with  birds  of  the  same  species  from  high  lati- 
tudes, in  which  all  "  the  upper  parts  from  the  back  of  the 
neck  remain  white,  merely  interspersed  here  and  there 
with  a  few  summer  feathers  "*  ;  whereas  in  the  female  the 
spring  moult  is  always  complete  in  every  latitude.  Here, 
then,  we  actually  find  that  in  the  ancestors  of  the  Red  Grouse 
there  would  be  a  strong  tendency  towards  an  incomplete 
spring  moult  in  the  cock  birds,  which,  with  the  amelioration 
of  the  climate,  the  darkening  colour  of  the  winter  plumage, 
and  the  adaptability  of  this  to  the  moorland  vegetation  in 
the  spring  and  summer,  would  be  useful  to  the  bird  under 
the  changing  conditions  of  life,  and  may  well  have  been 
accentuated  by  natural  selection  until  the  summer  plumage 
was  dispensed  with  altogether. 

Thus  the  Red  Grouse  merely  accentuates  in  its  remarkable 
changes  of  plumage  traits  exhibited  by  its  allies,  traits  which 
under  the  varying  conditions  of  Pleistocene  ages  may  well 
have  been  fostered  by  natural  selection  to  the  advantage 
of  the  species.  That  the  Red  Grouse  and  the  Willow  Grouse 
are  descended  from  a  common  progenitor  is  possible  ;    but 

*  Ogilvie-Grant,  op.  cit.  p.  41. 

Animal  Life  on  the  Moors 

this  common  progenitor  must  have  so  closely  resembled 
them  as  to  be  practically  indistinguishable.  In  any  case, 
the  progenitor  which  lived  in  Britain  just  after  the  Ice  Age 
must  have  possessed  traits  similar  to  those  of  the  Willow 
Grouse,  so  that  we  may  regard  the  latter  species  as  the 
living  representative  of  the  ancestors  of  the  Red  Grouse. 

We  will  conclude  this  account  of  the  "  moor  birds  "  by 
mentioning  that  after  their  establishment  in  Britain,  a  small 
beetle,  Atomaria  gibbula,  became  adapted  to  live  in  their 
droppings!  First  noted  in  Perthshire,  this  beetle  has  been 
taken  near  Scarborough.  The  genus  Atomaria  is  of  the 
general  European  or  Germanic  facies,  and  the  species  in 
question  has  undoubtedly  acquired  its  very  special  habits 
in  post-glacial  times.  The  droppings  of  the  Grouse  must 
exercise  some  effect  on  the  moorland  plants,  but  hitherto 
no  observations  have  been  made  on  this  point. 

Well-distributed  over  the  Eastern  Moorlands,  the  Ring 
Ouzel  is  in  all  respects  the  ericetal  equivalent  of  the  Black- 
bird. Arriving  in  spring,  and  possessing  a  pure  white 
throat  band  which  gives  it  a  most  handsome  appearance, 
the  Ouzel  nests  on  the  ground  or  in  bank  sides,  and 
sings  a  much  less  melodious  song  than  his  relative. 
Judging  from  its  distribution,  which  ranges  as  far  east 
as  the  Volga  in  north  Europe,  and  through  Asia  Minor  to 
Persia  in  the  south,  we  may  conclude  that  it  is  perhaps  a 
bird  of  Asiatic  origin,  since  there  are  nine  species  of  Black- 
birds in  eastern  Palasarctic  Asia  and  fourteen  species  in 
the  Oriental  Region  lying  to  the  south  of  this.  Throughout 
its  range,  the  Ring  Ouzel  is  essentially  a  bird  of  hilly  and 
mountainous  districts,  which  are  its  primary  habitats,  that 
of  living  on  moors  being  secondary. 

The  Twite  occurs  very  sparingly  over  the  moorland  area, 
and  closely  resembles  the  common  Linnet  in  its  habits  ; 
but  differs  in  being  slightly  smaller,  in  having  a  yellowish 
beak,  and  in  the  lack  of  those  rosy  colours  which  impart 
50  much  beauty  to  the  lowland  species.     Its  song  resembles 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

that  of  a  Redpoll  more  than  that  of  a  Linnet.  The  bird  is 
obviously  a  Linnet  adapted  to  a  moorland  existence.  This 
species  also  appears  to  be  of  Asiatic  origin,  for  not  only 
does  it  range  into  Turkestan  but  several  of  its  congeners  are 
also  more  or  less  numerous  in  Asia. 

The  last  bird  of  the  moors  which  we  have  to  consider  is 
the  Merlin,  which  like  the  preceding,  breeds  but  sparingly 
in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  owing  to  the  incessant  perse- 
cution to  which  it  has  been  subjected.  It  feeds  very  largely 
on  insects  ;  and  one  authority,  Mr.  E.  T.  Booth,  states  that 
it  is  very  fond  of  the  Oak  Eggar  Moths  so  abundant  on  heaths. 
Nesting  among  Heather  and  rocks,  the  Merlin  lays  eggs  of 
the  usual  falcon  type,  and  despite  continual  destruction 
still  manages  to  hold  its  own  in  isolated  localities.  With 
regard  to  this  species,  it  is  quite  impossible,  either  from  its 
own  distribution  or  that  of  the  genus  Falco,  which  is  prac- 
tically world-wide,  to  draw  any  definite  conclusions  as  to 
its  centre  of  origin. 

The  remaining  vertebrate  to  be  considered  is  the  Viper 
or  "  hag-worm  "  (Viperus  berus)  reported  from  most  parts  of 
the  Eastern  Moorlands  ;  but  it  cannot  be  said  to  be  at  all 
abundant.  People  in  the  country  state  that  "  hag-worms  " 
are  common  on  the  moors  and  elsewhere,  but  it  must  not 
be  overlooked  that  the  slow-worm  is  also  called  by  the  same 
name.  Although  specimens  of  the  snake  from  various 
localities  have  been  brought  to  me,  I  have  only  twice  come 
across  living  Vipers  on  the  moors  within  the  last  fifteen  years, 
but  it  is  not  uncommon.  A  blackish  snake-like  tail 
will  often  be  seen  vanishing  into  the  Ling  ;  but  these 
tails  usually  belong  to  the  Lizard  which  is  abundant  on 
most  moors.  The  local  designation  of  the  Viper  is  used 
as  a  place  name,  the  best  known  being  Hagworm  Hill,  a 
glacial  moraine,  near  Scarborough  (Fig.  62). 

Wandering  over  the  moors  at  all  seasons  of  the  year,  the 
naturalist  cannot  but  be  impressed  by  the  paucity  of  bird 
and  mammalian  life.     With  the  exception  of  the  Grouse, 


Photo  by]  Fi    .62. — Hagworm  I  in. i.  AND  Seamer  Beacon,    [Godfrey  Bingley. 

near  Scarborough. 

Photo  by\ 

Fig.  63. — Solitary   \m  [Mutilla  europcea)  from        !/•/. 
Moors  se  vr   R(  bin   1  [ood's   I  '•  w. 

Animal  Life  on  the  Moors 

none  of  the  species  described  forces  itself  upon  the  attention 
of  the  observer.  Now,  although  game-preserving  must 
have  resulted  in  many  species  inimical  to  Grouse  being 
destroyed,  still  even  in  the  remote  past  a  large  number  of 
birds  could  not  have  existed  on  the  uplands.  The  boggy 
places  are  not  very  extensive  ;  yet  it  is  only  here  that  any 
increase  could  be  expected.  As  insects  generally  are  not 
numerous,  of  course  insectivorous  birds  cannot  become  so, 
and  consequently  the  number  of  individuals  and  species 
could  never  have  been  very  great,  and  would  soon  reach  a 
maximum.  We  may  see  that  this  is  an  important  factor 
in  determining  the  bird  life  when  we  compare  it  with  that  of 
a  wood  in  which  live  Owls,  Hawks,  Jays,  Woodpeckers,  Tits, 
Flycatchers,  etc.  The  Meadow  Pipit  is  the  only  really  insecti- 
vorous bird  found  commonly  on  the  moors,  the  Twite 
subsisting  on  a  mixed  diet  of  seeds  and  insects. 

In  winter,  moorland  bird  life  falls  to  a  very  low  ebb. 
Except  for  the  presence  of  an  occasional  Grey-back  Crow 
and  the  ever  present  Grouse,  no  birds  are  to  be  seen.  With 
the  return  of  spring  the  marsh  birds  revisit  their  breeding 
haunts  and  enliven  the  bleak  uplands  with  their  cheerful 
notes  throughout  the  summer.  Cuckoos  will  be  heard 
calling  over  moor  and  dale  ;  and  when  evening  approaches 
the  "  churr  "  of  the  ghostly  Nightjar  resounds  over  the  wild 
moorlands.  All  leave  towards  the  autumn,  when,  however, 
Blackbirds  and  Thrushes  quit  the  valleys  to  feed  on  the 
Bilberries  and  impart  a  flickering  touch  of  avian  life  to  the 
moors  before  the  desolation  of  winter. 



THE  paucity  of  vertebrate  life  on  the  moorlands 
is  in  some  measure  compensated  for  by  the  com- 
parative richness  of  the  invertebrate  life  which 
depends  more  upon  the  vegetation,  has  been  less 
interfered  with  by  man,  and  consequently  must  have 
retained  its  characteristics  for  a  long  period.  The 
words  "  comparative  richness  "  are  used  advisedly,  because 
contrasted  with  the  invertebrate  fauna  of  woods  or  lanes,  that 
of  moors  is  limited,  both  in  the  number  of  kinds  and  in  the 
number  of  individuals,  though  its  interest  is  equal  to,  if  it 
does  not  exceed,  that  of  other  faunal  associations. 

The  insects  alone  of  all  the  invertebrates  that  find  a 
home  upon  the  moors  have  been  sufficiently  investigated 
to  render  an  account  of  them  possible,  and  of  this  great 
class  of  animals  the  Lepidoptera  (butterflies  and  moths) 
are  of  the  most  value  to  us,  owing  to  the  assistance  they 
furnish  in  confirming  conclusions  regarding  the  history  of 
the  moorland  flora.  Hence  this  part  of  our  subject  will 
deal  largely  with  them,  though  first  we  must  glance  at  other 
groups  so  far  as  they  have  been  studied  in  the  district. 

It  may  be  noted  that  the  moors  possess  no  molluscan 
fauna  except  the  Black  Slug  (  A  Hon  ater),  a  species  abundant 
in  many  habitats,  and  ranging  from  sea  level  to  the  highest 
point  of  the  district,  where  it  may  be  frequently  seen  creeping 
over  the  black  peaty  soil.  Undoubtedly  the  moors  are 
extremely  unfavourable  to  snails,  probably  owing  to  the 
humic  acids  in  the  soil  and  the  nature  of  the  vegetation. 
This  marked  absence  of  molluscs  is  in  striking  contrast  to 
their  abundance  in  woods  and  on  sand  dunes. 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

In  Chapter  III.  reference  was  made  to  the  probable 
influence  of  ants  in  distributing  the  seeds  of  Furze  and  other 
ericetal  plants,  and  now  we  must  notice  these  insects  more 
closely.  The  most  interesting  species  from  our  point  of 
view  is  the  Wood  Ant  (Formica  rufa),  which,  strictly  speaking, 
is  not  a  moorland  insect  at  all.  Notwithstanding  its  sylvan 
habits,  however,  this  species  is  abundant  in  Baysdale  and 
some  of  the  tributary  valleys — Great  Hograh  especially — 
its  characteristic  ant-hills  being  found  scattered  amongst 
the  Heather  on  the  slopes.  On  moors  far  away  from  wooded 
ravines  the  species  is  not  found,  but  in  valleys  where  no 
woods  exist  it  will  be  met  with.  Planted  woods  of  coni- 
ferous and  deciduous  trees  never  contain  the  Wood  Ant,  and 
its  haunts  show  that  it  was  formerly  a  denizen  of  much  of 
that  ancient  woodland  now  converted  into  moor.  Hence 
we  may  conclude  that  wherever  the  ant-hills  of  this  species 
occur  on  the  moors,  these  latter  have  been  more  or  less 
clothed  with  trees  ;  and  its  occurrence  further  confirms  the 
conclusion  previously  reached  that  most  slopes  were  formerly 
wooded.  Doubtless  the  species  is  of  fairly  wide  distribu- 
tion in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  but  I  have  only  come 
across  it  in  Baysdale,  on  grassy  roadsides  in  Newton 
Dale,  and  in  Riccal  Dale.  The  insect  is  easily  dis- 
tinguished from  other  ants  by  its  larger  size  and  red  and 
black  colours. 

Other  species  of  ants  are  even  more  numerous  on  all 
parts  of  the  moors,  their  nests  being  chiefly  situated  under 
stones,  and  on  some  stony  heaths  nearly  every  boulder 
shelters  a  colony.  The  most  abundant  of  these  is  the 
Red  Ant  (Formica  fused)  ;  next  stands  the  Black  Ant 
(Lasius  niger)  ;  whilst  of  rarer  occurrence  is  the  Yellow 
Ant  (Lasius  flavus),  which  usually  frequents  grassy  moors 
and  slopes.  Some  nests  of  the  Red  Ant  persist  for  a 
long  time  under  the  same  stone — as  long  as  from  fourteen 
to  twenty  years.  Towards  the  month  of  August  this  species 
swarms  ;  and  in  hot  September  weather  winged  males  and 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

females  fly  about  in  thousands,  and  creep  over  the  sandy 
roads  in  vast  numbers. 

By  far  the  rarest  of  all  the  moor  insects  is  the  so-called 
Solitary  Ant  (Mutilla  europcea),  (Fig.  63),  the  representative 
of  a  group  of  Hymenopterous  insects — the  Mutillidae, 
remarkable  for  their  winged  males  and  wingless  females, 
their  unsocial  habits,  and  parasitic  instincts.  Until  recent 
years  this  species  was  thought  to  be  restricted  to  the  south 
of  England  ;  but  in  1903  a  specimen  was  taken  on  the 
moors  near  Scarborough,  and  recorded  by  the  late  Rev. 
W.  C.  Hey  in  "  The  Naturalist  "  for  that  year.     In  August, 

1904,  when  studying  the  glacial  geology  of  the  moors  behind 
Robin  Hood's  Bay,  I  accidentally  found  a  second  specimen 
on  the  summit  of  one  of  the  most  impressive  relics  of  ice- 
action  in  that  area,  Brown  Rigg  (Fig.  64).  A  third  was  found 
on  the  Peak  Moors  by  Dr.  J.  W.  Fordham,  of  Sheffield,  in 

1905.  The  three  specimens  were  all  females.  In  appearance 
the  insect  is  quite  unmistakable,  having  a  black  head, 
red  thorax,  and  black  abdomen  ;  the  latter  has  three  silvery 
or  golden  bands,  one  unbroken  near  the  junction  of  the 
thorax  and  abdomen,  and  two  broken  bands  situated  near 
the  extremity  of  the  insect.  In  its  metamorphoses, 
Mutilla  europcea  is  parasitic  on  certain  species  of  wild  bees, 
in  the  nests  of  which  it  deposits  its  eggs,  and  on  the  grubs  of 
which  its  own  larvae  feed.  Hence  they  differ  profoundly 
from  true  ants  in  every  way,  and  naturally  constitute  with 
their  allies  a  very  distinct  family  of  parasitic  Hymenoptera. 

When  this  insect  was  found  it  was  thought  that  it  was 
the  first  reported  occurrence  of  the  species  in  the  north  of 
England ;  but  I  have  since  discovered  a  record  in  the 
"  Transactions  of  the  Natural  History  Society  of  Northum- 
berland and  Durham  "  for  1855,  where  the  Solitary  Ant  is 
stated  by  Bold,  in  his  list  of  Aculeata  Hymenoptera  of  the 
two  northern  counties,  to  have  been  taken  occasionally  on 
the  sand-hills  near  South  Shields.  Before  the  Yorkshire 
specimens  were  captured,  Colchester  in  Essex  was  considered 














5     c 







Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

the  most  northerly  latitude  for  this  insect  in  Britain. 
It  has  been  chiefly  found  in  the  sandy  regions  of  Surrey, 
Dorset,  Hampshire  and  Berkshire  ;  whilst  it  occurs  through- 
out the  whole  of  Europe  from  Sweden,  Finland  and  Russia 
to  the  extreme  south.  It  also  ranges  into  north  Africa, 
Asia  Minor  and  Japan.*  The  discovery  of  this  insect  in 
North  Yorkshire  is  one  of  those  unexpected  entomological 
events  which  show  that  many  rare  forms  may  yet  be  found 
by  the  zoologist  in  this  comparatively  unexplored  district. 

In  attempting  to  explain  its  presence  in  North-Eastern 
Yorkshire,  attention  must  first  be  directed  to  the  distribu- 
tion of  the  genus  in  Europe  ;  this  is  shown  upon  the  following 
map  (Fig.  65),  where  every  black  dot  corresponds  to  a  species 
of  Mutilla.  We  see  at  a  glance  that  the  head-quarters  of 
the  genus  are  in  the  south  of  France,  and  that  the  further 
north  we  go,  the  rarer  it  becomes.  In  France,  and  especially 
the  south,  there  are  thirty  species  ;  in  Germany,  twelve  ; 
in  Sweden,  two  ;  and  in  Finland,  two.  Russia  has  eleven 
species,  some  of  which  occur  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Eliza- 
bethgrad,  Italy  has  nine,  and  Greece  has  three  species. 
Two  kinds  of  Solitary  Ant  occur  in  Britain — the  one  with 
which  we  are  dealing,  and  Mutilla  ephippium,  which  is 
restricted  to  south-eastern  England.  From  these  data 
we  may  infer  that  the  Mutillidae  have  travelled  over  Europe 
from  the  south  ;  and  this  inference  is  supported  by  the  fact 
that  in  north  Africa  over  twenty  species  live  in  Algeria 
and  over  twenty  in  Egypt,  seven  species  being  common  to 

The  group  is  certainly  not  of  European  origin  since  over 
one  thousand  species  are  known  from  all  parts  of  the  world, 
chiefly  from  the  tropical  regions  of  Africa,  Australia,  South 

*  E.  Andre,  "  Species  des  Hymeiiopteres  d'  Europe  et  Algerie,  VIII." 
p.  240  (1900).  Kindly  communicated  by  Mr.  G.  Meade- Waldo,  assis- 
tant in  the  Zoological  Department,  British  Museum. 

|  Catalogue  of  Hymenopterous  Insects  in  the  British  Museum,  part 
3.  Mutillidae  and  Pompilid.-e,  by  F.  Smith,  1855.  Also  Descriptions 
of  New  Species  of  Hymenoptera  in  the  British  Museum,  1879. 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

America  and  Asia.  Such  a  distribution  bespeaks  a  very- 
ancient  origin  for  this  unique  family,  which  perhaps  goes 
back  to  a  time  when  the  configuration  of  land  and  water 
must  have  been  entirely  different,  otherwise  its  range  is 
inexplicable.  In  the  Americas,  as  in  Europe,  the  further 
north  we  go,  the  less  numerous  do  the  species  become,  as 
the  following  figures  indicate*  : — 

South  America  133  species 

Central  America  . .  . .  . .       25 

North  America  . .  . .  . .        15 

It  must,  I  concluded  from  these  facts  that  ages  ago, 
the  Mutillidse  originated  in  sub-tropical  and  tropical  lands 
whence  they  have  spread  over  the  greater  part  of  the  earth. 
At  what  exact  period  the  two  British  species  first  entered 
this  country  we  have  absolutely  no  means  of  ascertaining. 
All  that  can  be  ascertained  is  that  it  may  have  taken  place 
during  the  Tertiary  period.  As  the  Ice  Age  came  on  the  ants 
would  be  driven  southwards,  and  probably  became  extinct 
throughout  the  country  ;  but  there  is  a  possibility  that  the 
commoner  species  managed  to  struggle  through  the  age  of 
cold  on  the  ice-free  oasis  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire.  Start- 
ling as  this  suggestion  may  appear  after  what  we  have  just 
said  concerning  its  tropical  origin  and  its  parasitic  habits, 
it  becomes  less  so  if  we  bear  in  mind  the  following  facts  : — 
the  ant  lives  in  the  severe  climate  of  Finland  ;  another 
species,  Mutilla  jrigida,  exists  in  Arctic  America  in  the 
vicinity  of  the  Great  Bear  Lake  f  ;  and  humble  bees  occur 
in  Grinnell  Land.  Hence  it  is  not  unlikely  that  the  Solitary 
Ant  together  with  its  hosts  may  have  survived  the  Ice  Age 
on  the  driftless  area.  At  the  same  time  it  may  also  have 
survived  the  same  rigorous  period  in  the  unglaciated  regions 
of  the  south  of  England  whence  it  has  spread  northwards 
into  Essex. 

The    foregoing    explanation    certainly    accounts    for    the 

*Op.  cit.  . 

■j  Op.  cit.  1855,  p.  61. 

















Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

distribution  of  the  Solitary  Ant  in  Great  Britain,  and  was 
advanced  by  me  before  the  Durham  record  was  discovered.* 
This  record  greatly  alters  the  aspect  of  the  problem,  for  we 
now  have  to  explain  its  occurrence  at  South  Shields.  Let 
us  assume  that  this  insect  was  exterminated  in  Britain  by 
the  Glacial  Period  ;  the  ant  must  then  have  re-entered  the 
country  from  the  Continent  in  post-glacial  times,  and  spread 
northwards  to  Yorkshire  and  Durham  during  the  warmer 
Forestian  epoch,  since  which  period  it  has  become  extinct 
in  the  intermediate  area  by  colder  and  wetter  conditions, 
or  by  the  destruction  of  suitable  sandy  habitats.  As  yet  we 
know  of  no  record  of  its  existence  between  Colchester  and 
the  Eastern  Moorlands  ;  but  if  the  insect  does  occur  in  that 
area,  its  presence  on  our  moors  may  be  accounted  for  by 
continuous  dispersal  northwards  since  the  Ice  Age. 

Further,  it  may  be  pointed  out  that  the  Solitary  Ant, 
occurring  as  it  does  on  the  eastern  sea-board,  may  be  a  relic 
of  direct  land  connections  with  the  Continent  in  post-glacial 
times,  as  was  suggested  in  the  case  of  the  rare  plants  of 
the  south-eastern  area.  It  is  certainly  noteworthy  that 
this  essentially  southern  insect  should  be  found  in  the  same 
neighbourhood  as  the  plants  ;  and  this  curious  commingling 
of  northern  and  southern  forms  suggests  the  same  comming- 
ling observable  in  the  Pleistocene  mammals,  and  lends  weight 
to  the  glacial  survival  theory.  In  announcing  the  discovery 
of  Mutilla  europcea,  the  Rev.  W.  C.  Hey  remarks  : — "  It 
is  strange  that  the  identical  moor  upon  which  this  Mutilla 
was  found  has  also  yielded  to  me  many  examples  of  insects 
of  a  much  more  northern  type  than  those  usually  found 
near  Scarborough." 

But  in  whatever  way  the  occurrence  of  the  Solitary  Ant 
on  the  Eastern  Moorlands  is  to  be  accounted  for,  there  can 
be  little  doubt  that  it  originated  in  pre-glacial  times  from 
southern  Europe. 

*  Naturalist,  1907. 

Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

Nearly  one  hundred  species  of  beetles  live  upon  the  moors, 
but  the  majority  are  not  endemic,  and  exist  in  various  other 
situations.     This  arises  from  the  circumstance  that  they 
are  not  so  dependent  on  plants  for  their  food,  are  more  varied 
in  their  habits,  and  are,  consequently,  more  adaptable  to 
all  kinds  of  habitats.     Carrion  beetles,  dung  beetles,  water 
beetles  and  carnivorous  beetles  constitute  groups  of  species 
more  or  less  the  same  everywhere,  in  woods,  lanes,  fields,  or 
moors.     Throughout  these  general  assemblages  of  species  will 
be  found  those  peculiar  to  special  haunts,  and  a  few  of  these 
exist  upon  moors.     True  ericetal  species  include  those  which 
subsist  upon  the  heath  vegetation,  and  those  of  carnivorous 
habits  usually  found  on  mountains  and  high  hills. 

The  most  conspicuous,  and  at  the  same  time  a  very 
abundant  insect,  is  the  green  and  blue  Tiger  Beetle  {Cicindela 
campestris),  which  flies  over  the  moors  on  sunny  days  from 
the  beginning  of  April  to  the  end  of  September.  Although 
such  a  characteristic  element  in  the  insect  life  of  the  uplands, 
its  presence  is  primarily  due  to  the  light  sandy  soils  into  which 
its  carnivorous  larvae  can  burrow,  and  not  to  the  fact  that 
the  land  is  clothed  with  Heather.  As  Dr.  R.  F.  Scharff 
has  shown,  this  species  probably  originated  in  south-east 
Europe,  for  in  that  part  of  the  Continent  the  genus  is  very 
highly  developed.* 

Ground  beetles  occur  freely ;  the  Carabidse  being 
represented  by  the  brilliant  Carabus  nitens  and  the  more 
soberly  coloured  Carabus  arvensis,  species  that  are  rarely, 
if  ever,  found  away  from  the  moors  at  any  rate  in  this  district. 
The  black  beetles  of  the  genus  Pterostichus  will  be  found 
under  most  stones  ;  and  several  of  the  species  are  only 
known  to  inhabit  high  moorlands,  P.  cethiops  and  vitreus 
being  instances.  The  late  Rev.  W.  C.  Hey,  of  East  Ayton, 
recorded  a  specimen  of  Pterostichus  lepidus,  a  bronze-coloured 
insect  from  Sawdon  and  Ebberston  Moors,  up  to  the  present 

*  "  History  of  the  European  Fauna." 

273  S 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

its  only  recorded  Yorkshire  habitat.  Unless  this  insect 
entered  the  district  in  pre-glacial  times,  and  survived  the 
Ice  Age  on  the  driftless  area,  it  is  difficult  to  understand 
how  it  could  come  to  occupy  its  present  home,  if  the 
moors  are  its  only  Yorkshire  station.  But  while  reserving 
an  account  of  the  relation  of  moorland  insects  to  the  Ice 
Age  until  we  treat  of  the  Lepidoptera,  we  must  draw  at- 
tention to  the  fact  that  this  scarce  local  beetle  has  been 
detected  in  the  south-eastern  area  of  the  moors,  where 
nearly  all  the  other  biological  rarities  of  North-Eastern 
Yorkshire  dwell. 

We  must  here  mention  the  occurrence  of  a  northern 
beetle,  Miscodera  arctica,  on  Stanghow  Moor,  in  North  Cleve- 
land. Found  there  in  1892  by  Mr.  M.  L.  Thompson,  the 
well-known  Yorkshire  coleopterist,  the  species  has  lately 
been  discovered  in  abundance  on  the  Grangetown  slag 
banks  near  the  mouth  of  the  Tees.*  This  small  and  pecu- 
liarly-shaped bronze  coloured  beetle  is  confined  to  north 
Europe  as  far  south  as  Stettin  and  Dantzig,  and  also  occurs 
in  the  Alps.  An  insect  evidently  originated  in,  and  adapted 
to,  cold  climates,  its  rarity  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  is 
due  to  the  low  elevation  of  the  hills  and  comparative  mild- 
dness  of  the  climate  ;  for  elsewhere  in  Britain  it  dwells  on 
the  high  mountains  of  the  north,  and  in  Scotland.  By 
flourishing  in  such  a  strange  haunt  as  slag  banks,  this 
insect  proves  the  remarkable  adaptability  of  its  class,  and 
that  the  species  in  question  is  not  dependent  on  moors  for 
its  existence. 

Small  ground  beetles  of  the  genus  Bembidium  are  repre- 
sented by  several  species,  of  which  we  may  take  Bembidium 
nigricorne  and  mannerheimi  as  instances.  Living  chiefly 
under  stones  they  belong  to  a  group  of  ancient  origin,  for 
their  congeners  are  scattered  widely  over  the  Continent 
and  can  scarcely  be  traced  to  any  definite  centre  of  origin. 

The  genus  Bradycellus,  typical  of  mountains  and  moor- 

*  Naturalist,  191  o. 

Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

lands,  has  three  forms  in  our  moorland  area.  The  district 
is  evidently  too  low  for  mountain  species  to  be  at  all  numer- 
ous, though  further  research  may  increase  their  number. 

Seeing  that  plants  are  so  abundant  on  the  moors,  we 
should  have  expected  peculiar  types  of  weevils  to  be  abun- 
dant, but  singularly  enough  there  appear  to  be  only  three 
species.  Two  of  these  belong  to  the  genus  Strophosomus — 
S.  retusus  and  lateralis,  both  small  and  obscurely  coloured  ; 
whilst  the  third,  Ceuthorrhynchus  erica,  is  still  smaller,  being 
less  than  an  eighth  of  an  inch  in  length  and  possessing  a 
well-defined  rostrum.  These  weevils  probably  mine  the 
stems  of  the  plants,  and,  moreover,  seem  to  be  the  only 
insects  on  the  moors  which  have  adopted  this  mode  of  life. 
Why  plant-feeding  beetles  should  be  so  comparatively 
scarce  forms  a  problem  by  no  means  easily  answered.  A 
brilliantly-coloured  jumping  beetle,  Haltica  ericeti,  lives 
upon  plants  and  is  of  an  oval  shape  with  green  or  blue 
tints,  and  is  of  fairly  frequent  occurrence. 

Special  types  of  water  beetles  belonging  to  the  genus 
Hydroporus  live  amongst  Sphagnum ;  whilst  dung  beetles, 
the  Aphodii,  have  two  species,  Aphodius  j ceteris  and  lappo- 
num,  peculiar  to  moors  and  living  in  sheep  droppings. 

Little  can  be  said  concerning  the  origin  of  the  moorland 
Coleoptera,  for  the  reason  that  the  majority  of  the  species 
are  included  in  genera  of  almost  universal  distribution. 
Ceuthorrhynchus,  Bradycellus  and  Haltica  are  south  and 
mid  European  in  their  range.  The  restriction  of  C. 
ericce  and  others  to  England  and  Germany  suggests  their 
evolution  in  that  area  from  the  wide-spread  groups  to  which 
they  belong.  Strophosomus  is  distinctly  concentrated  in 
south  and  south-west  Europe,  and  the  two  moorland  species 
may  therefore  be  of  southern  origin.  As  the  moorlands 
arose,  beetles  would  quickly  settle  on  them  ;  some  forms 
would  be  differentiated  into  new  species,  others  would 
retain  their  old  characteristics  and  become  even  more  uni- 
versally distributed  and  dominant. 



INSECT  LIFE  ON  THE  MOORS— (Continued). 


IF  the  origin  of  the  coleopterous  inhabitants  of  the 
moors  is  very  vague  and  the  number  of  their  peculiar 
species  small,  the  same  cannot  be  said  of  the  Lepidop^ 
tera,  which  not  only  exceed  the  beetles  in  number 
but  also  possess  a  history  that  can  be  traced  with 
some  distinctness  and  that  throws  some  light  on  the  origin 
of  the  flora.  Let  us,  therefore,  examine  these  insects,  and 
enter  upon  the  last  of  the  problems  to  be  discussed  in  these 

Before  considering  the  history  and  origin  of  the  Lepidop- 
tera  of  the  moors,  it  will  be  well  for  us  if  we  review  briefly 
their  succession  throughout  the  year,  since  this  will  enable 
us  to  convey  some  idea  of  the  habits  and  appearance  of  the 
different  species.  Here  also  may  be  included  a  few  further 
observations  upon  the  entomology  of  the  moors. 

Insect  life  begins  to  stir  in  March,  when,  on  sunny  days, 
the  hairy  larvae  of  the  Fox  Moth  (Bombyx  rubi)  roam  over 
grassy  spaces  in  search  of  suitable  nooks  in  which  to  spin 
their  cocoons  and  to  pupate  after  their  hibernation.  In 
similar  situations,  towards  the  end  of  the  month,  a  small 
greyish  Geometrid  moth,  the  Mottled  Grey  (Larentia  multi- 
strigaria),  is  not  infrequent,  resting  on  grass  tussocks  during 
the  day  and  flying  in  the  evening.  Occasionally  they  will  be 
found  impaled  upon  Furze  thorns,  a  death  probably  due  to 
accident,  for  there  are  no  butcher  birds  to  commit  such 

In  moorland  Birch  woods,  the  Yellow  Horned  Moth  (Cyma- 
tophora  flavicornis)  occurs  freely  throughout  the  month, 
resting  low  down  upon  the  trunks  and  branches  where  its 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

colours  harmonise  with  the  bark.  In  sunny  weather,  a 
small  black  sawfly,  which  probably  lives  upon  Heather  in 
the  larval  state,  is  quite  a  characteristic  feature  of  the  insect 
life  of  the  uplands  in  March. 

These  species  continue  upon  the  wing  during  the  greater 
part  of  April  towards  the  end  of  which  they  are  joined  by 
the  Emperor  Moth  (Saturnia  pavonia),  a  large  species  with 
peacock-eye-like  markings  on  each  wing  (see  coloured  plate). 
It  flies  in  an  erratic  manner  and  with  great  rapidity  on  sunny 
days,  and  sometimes  the  males  are  so  numerous  that  scores 
may  be  seen  in  the  course  of  a  day.  The  female  is  more 
sluggish,  and  may  be  found  resting  upon  moorland  plants. 
Usually  these  females  have  deposited  their  eggs  and  are  in  a 
dying  condition.  Larvae  which  have  been  hibernating  become 
more  abundant  in  April,  and  include  those  of  such  species  as 
the  Oak  Eggar  (Lasiocampa  quercus),  with  its  brown  hairs 
and  black  velvety  bands  ;  the  Moor  Carpet  Moth  (Larentia 
casiata),  which  is  green  with  yellow  and  red  V-shaped 
marks  on  the  back  ;  and  the  Heath  Rustic  (  Agrotis  agathina)t 
which  is  greenish  brown.  On  swiddens,  the  little  black 
Phycis  fusca  swarms,  flying  over  the  charred  gouldens  and 
settling  upon  them,  whilst  the  brilliant  blue  and  green  scin- 
tillations of  the  Tiger  Beetle  catch  the  eye  as  the  insects  fly 
over  sandy  banks  and  spaces.  Ground  beetles  appear  in 
some  numbers  during  April,  the  most  noteworthy  being 
Carabus  nitens  with  its  corrugated  metallic  green  elytra 
bordered  with  crimson,  its  crimson  thorax  and  copper- 
coloured  head.  It  seems  to  be  at  home  on  all  kinds  of 
moors,  from  the  driest  to  the  wettest,  for  I  have  observed 
it  on  grassy  commons  and  on  May  Moss. 

With  the  advent  of  May  insect  life  on  the  moors  begins  to 
attain  a  maximum  which  continues  until  August.  The 
Emperors  are  on  the  wing  throughout  this  month,  but  in 
steadily  diminishing  numbers  until  they  finally  disappear. 
Several  very  characteristic  members  of  the  ericetal  Lepidop- 
tera  now  wing  their  way  over  the  Heather,  the  commonest 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

of  which  is  the  Heath  Moth  (Ematurga  atomaria),  a  species 
universally  distributed  over  the  Eastern  Moorlands.    As  you 
walk  through  the  Heather  this  moth  flies  out  continually,  and 
is  quite  unmistakable  in  its  white  and  brown  colours  (see  plate) . 
Amongst  dead  Bracken  fronds,  the  Brown  Silver  Lines  Moth 
(Panagra  petraria)  is  numerous,  and  its  colours  harmonise 
to   a  certain  extent   with  the    decayed    fern   leaves  upon 
which  it  rests.     If  the  tops  of  Heather  plants  be  carefully 
examined,  light  cocoons  of  a  very  delicate  fabric  may  often 
be  observed.     These  belong  to  the  Ruby  Tiger  Moth  {Spilo- 
soma  fuliginosa),  an  insect  which  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 
appears  to  be  restricted  to  the  moorlands,  though  this  is 
not  the  case  in  other  parts  of  the  country.     Emerging  from 
the  cocoon  in  a  week  or  a  fortnight  after  the  larva  has  pupated, 
the  Ruby  Tiger  Moth  is  a  very  beautiful  insect,  possessing 
semi-transparent  wings  of  a  sooty  hue  tinged  with  rose.     If 
we  raise  a  reddish  and  black  moth   out    of   the    Heather 
towards  the  end  of  May,  the  probability  is  that  it  is  this 
gpecies  which  we  have  disturbed  (see  plate).     Another  moth 
often   seen  upon   the    moors   though   not   by   any    means 
peculiar    to    them    is    the    handsome    yellow    and    black 
Wood   Tiger    (Nemeophila    plantaginis) ,    which    flies    with 
great  rapidity  and  impetuosity  at  some  height  over  broken 
and  wooded  slopes.     In  May,  the  Little  Yellow  Underwing 
(Anarta  myrtilli)   begins  to  appear  about  the  end  of  the 
third  week   (see  plate).      By  taking   up    a   position   near 
a    mass    of    Purple    Bell    Heath,   we   may   observe   these 
pretty  little  moths  visiting  the  flowers  ;    but  all   that   can 
be  seen  of  one  in  flight  is  a  greyish-yellow  object  moving 
swiftly  a  few  inches  above  the  plants.     The  flowers  of  the 
Heath  are  also  greatly  favoured  by  bees,  which,  in  their 
impatience  to  reach  the  nectar,  often  bite  a  small  hole  at 
the  base  of  the  corolla. 

Another  May  Noctuid  moth  (Hadena  glauca),  rests  upon 

stones,  trees,  and  Heather,  whilst  a  pretty  mottled  Tortrix 

{Tortrix  politana)  occurs  in  many  parts  of  the  moors.     The 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

Small  Heath  (Cceno?iympha  pamphilns)  and  the  Green  Hair- 
streak  Butterflies  ( Thecla  rubi)  are  also  on  the  wing  in  May  ; 
the  former  nearly  everywhere,  the  latter  only  where  Bilberry 
prevails  (see  plate).     Last  but  not  least  of  the  May  moorland 
Lepidoptera  is  the  Light  Knot-grass  Moth  (Acronycta  menyan- 
thidis),  which,  appearing  towards  the  end  of  the  month,  is  to 
be  found  upon  sandstone  boulders  or  drystone  walls,  where  its 
grey  and  whitish  tints  blend  with  the  colours  of  the  rock  and 
lichens.     It  is  not  a  common  species  on  the  Eastern  Moor- 
lands, but  occurs  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Danby  (see  plate). 
Many  of  the  May  Lepidoptera  fly  throughout  June  when 
they  are  re-inforced  by  other  species  the  chief  of  which  is 
the  Oak  Eggar  Moth   (Lasiocampa  quercus),  whose  strong 
dashing  flight  in  bright  sunshine  closely  resembles  that  of 
the  Emperor   Moth.     At   dusk,  female   Fox   Moths  appear 
on  the  wing,  and  fly  steadily  a  few  feet  above  the  vegetation, 
though  the  males  dash  wildly  about  during  the  day.     Several 
Geometrid  moths  are  in  evidence  this  month,  especially  the 
Heath  Pug  (Eupethecia  nanata),  which  is  abundant  on  most 
moors  (see  plate).     More  local  is  the  Smoky  Wave  (  Acidalia 
fumata),  a  small  whitish  grey  northern  insect,  often  found  on 
high  mountains.     The  Grey  Scalloped  Bar  (Scodiona  belgaria) 
frequents  some  moors,  and  may  in  suitable  habitats  be  seen 
in  numbers  either  at  rest  upon  the  ground  or  Heather  during 
the  day,  or  flying  just  after  sunset.     I  have  seen  scores  of 
this  species  on  the  wing  near   Kempswithen  ;    its  feeble 
irregular  flight  combined  with  its  conspicuous  white  colours 
makes  it  an  unmistakable  species  (see  plate).     Where  Gorse 
grows  the  Lead  Belle  Moth  (Eubolia  palumbaria)  is  not  rare, 
and  where  the  Milkwort  flourishes  a  small  purplish  green  moth 
(Phytometra    viridaria)    dashes    about    in    warm    sunshine. 
The  detached  wings  of  several  of  the  larger  moorland  moths 
may  frequently  be  observed  lying  on  the  ground  in  June, 
and  indicate  that  the  Nightjar  or  Merlin  has  been  having 
a  good  meal  of  the  bodies  to  which  these  wings  once  belonged. 
July  is  characterised  by  the  abundance  of  three  species — 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

the  Wood  Swift  ( Hepialus  velleda) ,   the  True  Lover's  Knot 
(Agrotis  strigula),  and  the  Moor  Carpet  (Larentia  ccesiata,  see 
plate).     The  first  is  found  amongst  Bracken  or  at  rest  upon 
stone  walls  ;  the  second  loves  to  creep  amongst  the  Heather  ; 
whilst  the  third,  with  its  finely  mottled  grey,  black  and  white 
wings,  is  perpetually  rising  from  the  moorland  plants  and 
indulging  in  short  flights  before  again  seeking  shelter.     It 
is  also  extremely  abundant  upon  stones  and  walls.     On 
windy  days  the  sheltered  sides  of  drystone  walls  sometimes 
swarm  with  moths  ;    and  one  of  the  best  methods  of  insect 
hunting  on  the  moors  is  to  travel  along  these  walls  at  all 
times  of  the  year,  examining  every  ledge  and  cranny  likely 
to  harbour  insects.     A  peculiarity  of  the  last-named  species 
is  that  they  fly  out  of  the  Heather  by  the  roadsides  some 
distance  ahead  of  the  observer.     It  would  seem  from  this 
that  they  are  able  to  detect  the  approach  of  anyone  either 
by  sound  or  other  means.     This  view  appears  all  the  more 
probable  when  we  remember  that  owing  to  the  structure 
of  their  antennae  insects  are  far  more  sensible  to  air  currents, 
odours  and  sounds,  than  higher  animals. 

In  August,  moth  life  begins  to  wane,  though  a  considerable 
number  of  species  may  still  be  met  with.  Ac  night  the  rare 
Heath  Rustic  {Agrotis  agathina)  is  on  the  wing,  and  during 
the  day  the  purple  Moorland  Silver- Y  (Plusia  interrogationis) 
flies  rapidly  over  the  Heather  bloom  (see  plate).  Amongst 
Bilberry,  particularly  where  it  grows  under  trees, the  moorland 
form  of  the  so-called  July  Highflyer  ( Hypsipetes  sordidata) 
swarms  at  the  beginning  of  the  month  (see  plate).  The 
Heather  bloom  being  now  at  its  best,  many  non-ericetal 
Lepidoptera  frequent  it  for  nectar ;  during  the  day,  Tortoise 
Shells  and  Red  Admirals  visit  the  moors  ;  at  night,  numerous 
Noctuae  and  Geometrae,  some  of  them  rather  rare.  Larvae 
of  the  Emperor  Moth  are  now  numerous,  and  with  their 
brilliant  green  bodies  ornamented  with  black  bands  and 
yellow  tubercles,  they  delight  the  eye  of  all  who  see  them 
for  the  first  time.      A  pretty  sight  may  be  seen  on  the 


Small  Ilea tli  Butterflj 
[Coeiionympka  patnphilit-.'. 

Hairsireak  Butunl 
(  Thecla  •  it 

II.  uli  Itmi.rfb 


.ittlu  Yellow -UnJerv.  in 
!  -larta  mvrlillf) 

Bilberry  Mot': 
(Calncanipa  solidaginis). 

1  rue  Lovers  Knot  Motl 
[Agrolis  singula). 


fooriaud  Silver- Y 
'  iiUerros.ationis\. 

Emperor  Moth,  male 
[Satuniia  pavonio). 

Kuby  Tiger  Moth 
i  Spilosoina  luliginosu 


Heath  Moth,  male 
( Hematuria   atom«  >  ia 

Light  Knot-grass  Moth 
(Acronycta  ittt  uymithttiUs) . 

ti  Moth,  i.  male 

Grey  Scalloped  Bar 
[Scbdiona  belgarta). 

Mo..i-  (  arpei  Moth 
[lArentia  cocsiata}. 

<.r.i^-   \V.i\.     Moth 
I      totes  ttrigiHatia). 

Clouded  Spinach  Moth 

'  '"iirria  popula'a). 

Heath  Pug  Moth 
/  itpfthei  in  ntinata). 


Kill.,  rrj   Ih   ink.  i 

,'V't'i   >•■>•! 

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i  ,:     Li.       MOORI    WD     IU   III  R]  I  II  S     \M>    \M)I  HS 

Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

Mosses  when  scores  of  Large  Heath  Butterflies  (Canonym 
pha  davus)  flit  jerkily  over  the  bog  plants,  the  light  silvery 
margins  of  their  wings  being  very  conspicuous  (see  plate). 
On  grass  moors,  that  destructive  pest  the  Antler  Moth 
(Charceas  graminis)  swarms  during  August,  and  very  swiftly 
skims  over  the  grass,  usually  in  the  forenoon. 

Insect  life  on  the  moors  falls  to  a  low  ebb  in  September  ; 
most  of  the  August  species  have  disappeared,  whilst  only  two 
further  noteworthy  moths  remain  to  be  mentioned.  Towards 
four  o'clock  on  quiet  afternoons,  a  yellowish  Geometer 
(Cidaris  populata),  flits  about  in  abundance  (see  plate). 
On  sunny  slopes  the  Small  Copper  Butterfly  (Polyommatus 
phlceas)  is  much  in  evidence  ;  but  perhaps  the  most  interest- 
ing species  is  the  Bilberry  Moth  ( Cloantha  solidaginis)  which 
feeds  upon  Bilberry  in  the  larval  state  and  which  pupates 
under  ground.  Upon  the  emergence  of  the  imagines  in 
September  they  usually  creep  up  the  tree  trunks  beneath 
which  the  food-plant  grows.  They  bear  a  most  striking 
resemblance  to  a  piece  of  twig  projecting  from  the  bark. 
In  colour  the  moths  are  greyish,  with  lighter  or  darker 
markings.  When  at  rest,  the  forewings  are  folded  closely 
round  the  body,  and  this  is  raised  above  the  bark  of  the  tree 
trunk.  In  this  position  the  insects  remain  motionless, 
their  likeness  to  twigs  being  almost  perfect.  Two  spots  on 
the  wings  also  aid  the  deception  by  their  resemblance  to 
small  knotty  rings,  as  if  smaller  pieces  of  twig  had  been 
broken  off  close  to  the  main  stem.  As  may  be  imagined 
this  moth  is  by  no  means  easy  to  find,  and  several  hours 
can  be  spent  in  searching  for  it  without  success  (see  plate). 

Two  observations  may  fitly  close  this  review  of  the  suc- 
cession of  insect  life  on  the  moors.  I  once  noticed  hundreds 
of  a  peculiar  species  of  Daddy  Long-Legs  (Tipula  sp.)  amongst 
the  Cotton  Grass  on  Stony  Ridge  in  September  ;  and  again, 
when  on  Murk  Mire  Moor  on  a  misty  day  in  October,  I  saw- 
scores  of  ichneumon  flies,  with  sickle-shaped  yellow  abdo- 
mens, on  the  wing.     These  parasites  desposit  their  eggs  in 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

the  larvae  of  the  Fox  and  Oak  Eggar  Moths  before  they  hiber- 
nate, as  the  ichneumons  do  not  live  throughout  the  winter. 

In  investigating  moorland  insects  distinction  must  be 
made  between  stragglers  to  the  uplands  and  residents  on 
the  uplands,  for  many  lowland  species  manage  to  ascend 
to  the  highest  points.  I  have  seen  the  Angle  Shades  Moth 
(Phlogophora  meticulosa)  in  November  at  heights  of  iooo 
feet  on  Kildale  Moor,  and  that  ubiquitous  species  the  Yellow 
Underwing  ( Triphcena  pronuba),  both  of  which  live  on  plants 
not  found  on  the  moors  proper.  Conversely,  a  few  cases 
are  on  record  of  true  moorland  insects  occurring  in  the 
lowlands.  The  Cotton  Grass  Moth  {Celoena  haworthii)  has 
been  found  in  Middlesbrough,  and  the  Emperor  Moth  (Satur- 
nia  pavonia)  has  been  caught  at  the  electric  lights  of  the 
ironworks.  Facts  such  as  these  indicate  movements  on 
the  part  of  moths  for  purposes  unrecognised  in  the  present 
state  of  our  knowledge  of  the  migrations  of  insects. 

The  most  remarkable  feature  of  the  entomology  of  the 
moors  is  the  rarity  of  stem  and  root-feeding  larvae,  and 
butterflies.  Most  plants  have  insects  which  bore  into  their 
tissues,  the  Scots  Pine  being  particularly  subject  to  this 
mode  of  attack.  Not  so  with  the  true  heath  vegetation— 
the  Ling,  Bilberry,  Crowberry,  etc. — for  if  we  omit  one  or 
two  small  species  such  as  the  Heather  Weevil  (Ceuthorrhyn- 
chus  erica)  amongst  beetles,  and  Haworth's  Moth  {Celcena 
haworthii)  amongst  Lepidoptera,  which  lives  in  the  stems 
of  the  Cotton  Grass,  there  is  no  other  species  of  stem-boring 
insect  to  be  found  upon  the  moors.  Considering  the  fact  that 
such  extensive  regions  are  clothed  with  Ling,  it  seems  very 
singular  that  so  few  species  should  have  adopted  this  habit. 
Root-feeding  grubs  occur  on  moorland  grasses  ;  but  the 
most  noticeable  feature  in  peaty  soil  is  the  absence  of  any 
forms  corresponding  to  those  which  are  so  abundant  in 
woods  and  fields.  Now  one  result  of  the  dearth  of  sub- 
terranean life  is  that  the  peaty  soil  is  far  less  disturbed 
than  it  otherwise  would  be  ;    a  fact  already  commented 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

upon  in  the  chapter  on  the  fat  moors,  and  here,  as  in 
the  case  of  the  mollusca,  the  humic  acids  appear  to  be  in- 
jurious to  most  larvae. 

With  regard  to  butterflies  only  three  species  occur  numer- 
ously on  the  Eastern  Moorlands,  and  of  these  the  Green  Hair- 
streak  (Thecla  rubi)  and  the  Small  Heath  (Ccenonympha 
pamphilus)  thrive  in  other  situations.  No  European 
butterfly  in  the  larval  state  feeds  upon  Heather  or  Heath ;  and 
there  is  only  one  genuine  ericetal  butterfly  in  North-Eastern 
Yorkshire,  and  that  is  the  Large  Heath  (Ccenonympha  davus), 
a  species  not  uncommon  on  the  Mosses  and  in  other  boggy 
localities.  The  almost  entire  absence  of  insectivorous 
birds  shows  clearly  that  the  insect  fauna  of  the  moors  is 
poorer  than  that  of  woods. 

The  intimate  relationship  subsisting  between  plants  and 
insects  is  one  of  the  most  familiar  facts  in  natural  history. 
We  find  it  illustrated  in  numerous  ways,  one  of  which  is 
very  clearly  displayed  by  the  Lepidoptera.  Almost  without 
exception  the  whole  of  this  great  order  live  in  the  larval 
stage  upon  plants  ;  such  exceptions  as  occur  only  serving. 
to  emphasise  the  general  rule.  Though  many  species  feed 
indiscriminately  upon  a  variety  of  plants,  it  more  frequently 
happens  that  a  particular  moth  or  butterfly  is  restricted 
to  one  kind  of  food-plant,  or,  as  is  often  the  case,  to  a  group 
of  closely  related  kinds.  Furthermore,  several  species  live 
upon  the  same  food  plant,  all  of  course  quite  independently 
of  one  another.  Whilst  one  caterpillar  feeds  in  the  seed 
heads,  another  browses  upon  the  leaves,  a  third  attacks 
the  roots,  and  yet  another  bores  into  the  stems.  The  perfect 
insects  issuing  from  these  varied  larvae  may  belong  to  the 
most  diverse  families  of  the  order,  and  may  be  of  very 
different  habits.  Still,  however  diverse  the  species  are,  the 
circumstance  of  their  all  being  ultimately  dependent  upon 
a  special  plant  gives  them  a  common  attribute  which  must 
be  of  importance  where  their  origin  is  concerned. 

These  considerations  will  enable  us  to  define  with  some 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

precision  the  exact  meaning  of  the  term  ericetal  Lepidoptera. 
In  it  we  include  those  moths  feeding  in  the  larval  stage  upon 
Heather,  the  two  Heaths,  Bilberry,  Cowberry,  Cotton  Grass 
and  Sweet  Gale.  By  far  the  greater  number  of  insects  which 
live  upon  them  are  found  nowhere  else  but  on  moors,  though 
some  manage  to  thrive  upon  other  plants.  A  few  Lepidop- 
tera occur  upon  Crowberry,  Bearberry,  Potentilla,  etc.  ; 
but  these  are  of  less  importance  as  compared  with  the  group 
just  mentioned.  Moths  subsisting  on  moorland  grasses  have 
been  purposely  excluded  because  they  belong  to  an  assemblage 
of  forms  of  almost  universal  occurrence — the  grass  feeders — 
which  require  special  investigations  to  disentangle  their  ele- 
ments. No  important  species  are  omitted  by  this  treatment, 
and  all  stragglers  to  the  moorlands  are  excluded. 

Earlier  chapters  have  made  us  familiar  with  the  plant 
associations  of  the  botanist,  in  which  one  or  more  species 
may  be  dominant,  others  sub-dominant,  and  some  merely 
sporadic.  Such  a  grouping  of  plants  suggests  an  analogous 
grouping  of  the  insects  which  feed  upon  them.  Thus,  all 
the  insects  which  infest  the  Pine  cannot  be  otherwise  re- 
garded than  as  intimately  associated  with  one  another. 
In  other  words  they  form  a  biological  association  of  insects. 
Similarly  with  the  Lepidoptera  of  the  moors.  Here  we  find 
an  association  of  moths,  some  species  being  abundant,  others 
local,  and  some  rare  ;  and  the  likeness  to  the  plant  associa- 
tion is  still  further  enhanced  when  it  is  noted  that  these 
insects  can  be  divided  into  sub-groups  dependent  upon 
particular  kinds  of  plants,  Ling,  Bilberry,  or  Bracken.  Such 
a  community  of  insects  in  comparison  with  those  peculiar 
to  the  Oak,  Birch,  or  Pine,  must  present  very  different  aspects 
of  habit,  distribution  and  origin. 

As  is  well-known,  moths  do  not  always  occur  where  their 
food-plants  grow,  but,  generally  speaking,  a  plant's  geo- 
graphical distribution  must  exercise  a  considerable  influence 
upon  them.  Some  species  flourish  throughout  the  entire 
range  of  the  plant ;    others,  though  coterminous  with  the 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

plant's  range,  are  nevertheless  local ;  whilst  other  species 
only  exist  in  a  very  limited  part  of  the  area  occupied  by  the 
plant.  It  must  be  obvious,  however,  that  the  distribution 
of  the  various  forms  subsisting  upon  one  kind  of  plant  or 
allied  group  of  plants,  ought  to  present  features  of  some 
significance  when  contrasted  with  one  another  ;  and  the 
geological  history,  past  migrations,  and  present  life  condi- 
tions of  plants  must  have  had  an  important  effect  in  deter- 
mining not  only  the  history  of  their  insect  dependents,  but 
also  to  some  extent  the  character  of  these  latter. 

An  adequate  discussion  of  the  moorland  Lepidoptera  is 
only  possible  when  all  the  British  and  Continental  species 
are  reviewed.  At  the  very  least  over  120  species  occur 
throughout  Europe,  whereas  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 
only  about  forty  species  have  up  to  the  present  been  detected. 
Hence  while  the  ensuing  account  of  the  moorland  moths 
and  butterflies  will  be  illustrated  by  species  found  in  this 
district,  the  general  conclusions  regarding  their  origin  are 
drawn  from  an  examination  of  the  association  in  its  European 
ensemble  (see  Appendix). 

The  heath-frequenting  Lepidoptera  may  be  divided  into 
the  following  sections  : — 

Species  dependent  upon  Heather  and  Heath,  or  Callunal 

Species  dependent  upon  Vaccinium,  or  Vaccinial  Asso- 

Species  dependent  upon  Sweet  Gale. 

Species  dependent  upon  Cotton  Grass. 

Species  dependent  upon  Bracken. 
By  far  the  greater  number  of  Lepidoptera  occur  on  Ling 
and  Bilberry,  as  will  be  seen  from  the  annexed  figures  : — 

Callunal  Association   . .  . .     about  49  species. 

Vaccinial  Association . .  ..  52 

Myrica  Association     . .  . .         ,,        6 

Eriophorum  Association        . .         ,,         7       >> 

Pteris  Association       . .  . .         ,,        3 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Few  of  these  insects  feed  on  plants  not  belonging  to 
their  own  association,  though  a  certain  amount  of  inter- 
mixture exists.  Thus,  the  Moor  Silver-Y  Moth  (Plusia 
interrogationis) ,  a  beautiful  insect  with  purplish  forewings, 
and  not  uncommon  on  the  Eastern  Moorlands,  usually  feeds 
as  a  caterpillar  upon  Heather,  but  it  does  not  disdain  Bil- 
berry ;  whilst  the  Moor  Carpet  Moth  (Larentia  ccesiata)  has 
a  similar  though  obverse  peculiarity,  favouring  Bilberry,  but 
often  found  on  Ling.  Again  the  Light  Knot-Grass  Moth 
(Acronycta  menyanthidis)  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  lives 
upon  Heather  ;  but  on  the  Continent  it  is  said  to  feed  on 
Sweet  Gale,  Cranberry,  etc.  Further,  a  few  species  pass 
entirely  off  moorlands  and  join  insects  in  woods  and  lanes. 
Among  these  may  be  mentioned  the  Emperor  Moth  {Saturnia 
pavonia),  the  Oak  Eggar  Moth  (Lasiocampa  quercus),  a  fine 
coffee-cloured  species  ;  and  the  Green  Hairstreak  ( Thecla 
rubi),  abundant  amongst  Bilberry  on  the  Eastern  Moorlands, 
but  which,  according  to  Spuler,  does  not  feed  on  this  plant 
on  the  Continent.*  These  species  common  to  both  ericetal 
and  other  insect  communities  are  of  great  importance,  as 
they  afford  a  clue  to  the  way  in  which  non-moorland  insects 
may  become  purely  moorland  insects. 

Regarding  this  insect  association  as  a  whole,  all  the  chief 
divisions  of  the  order  Lepidoptera,  with  one  exception,  are 
represented :— Butterflies,  Silk  Moths  (Bombyces),  the  Night 
Moths  (Noctuce),  the  Loopers  (Geometrce),  the  Pyralidce, 
the  Tortrices,  and  Tinea.  The  exception  is  that  of  the 
Hawk  Moths  {Sphingidce)  ;  these  glorious  forms  have  no 
moorland  representatives,  the  reason  being  unknown.  In 
Europe  the  species  are  almost  equally  distributed  amongst 
the  different  groups,  except  in  the  Bombyces  and  Butterflies  ; 
there  being  about  six  of  the  former  and  five  of  the  latter. 
To  the  paucity  of  moorland  butterflies  we  have  already 
alluded.  On  wet  mosses,  such  as  May  Moss  and  Yarlsey  Moss 
the  Large  Heath  (Ccenonrnypha  davus)   is   not  uncommon, 

*  "  Die  Schmetterlinge  Europas." 

Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

where  its  caterpillars  feed  upon  sedges  ;  whilst  its  relative, 
the  Small  Heath  ( C.  pamphilus)  is  abundant  everywhere  on 
the  uplands,  the  larvae  subsisting  on  grasses.  In  late  May 
and  early  June,  when  the  brilliant  green  carpets  of  young 
Bilberry  stand  out  in  vivid  contrast  to  the  dark  brown  Ling, 
the  Green  Hairstreak  Butterfly  will  be  seen  flitting  amongst 
it.  Perhaps  as  you  are  crossing  a  bilberry-clad  swidden  a 
slight  twitch  of  something  green  attracts  your  attention. 
Upon  closer  examination,  the  something  green  proves  to  be 
a  Hairstreak  at  rest  ;  the  green  underside  of  its  wings  renders 
it  almost  invisible  amongst  the  leaves. 

Another  fact  brought  out  by  this  comparison  of  ericetal 
insect  groups  is  that  the  abundance  of  a  plant  is  no  guarantee 
for  an  abundance  of  dependent  Lepidoptera.  Bracken  is 
a  most  abundant  fern,  and  yet  supports  three  moths 
only,  two  of  which  occur  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  ;  the 
Wood  Swift  (Hepialus  velleda)  feeding  upon  its  roots,  and  a 
brown  Geometer  (Panagra  petraria)  feeding  on  its  fronds. 
Compare  his  figure  with  the  fifty  species  living  on  Ling  or  on 
Bilberry,  clearly  demonstrating  that  some  other  factor  than 
abundance  must  be  a  cause  in  determining  what  species 
shall,  and  what  shall  not  live  upon  plants.  Still  abundance 
must  in  many  cases  exert  some  effect ;  for  plants  that  are 
limited  in  size  and  of  very  restricted  social  habit  cannot 
possibly  support  a  great  number  of  insects.  The  chemical 
nature  of  the  Bracken  may  be  a  factor  in  keeping  away 
insects  ;  but  how  the  chemical  composition  of  plants  may 
affect  them  we  are  entirely  ignorant. 

A  few  moorland  moths  possess  a  somewhat  similar  type 
of  colouration  on  the  forewings,  a  mottled  reddish  hue. 
This  feature  is  exemplified  in  the  Little  Yellow  Underwing 
(Anarta  myrtilli),  the  Heath  Rustic  (Agrotis  agathina),  the 
True  Lover's  Knot  Moth  (  Agrotis  strigida),  and  some  micro- 
Lepidoptera,  Tortrix  politana  for  instance.  This  style  of 
colour  probably  assimilates  them  to  the  ensemble  of  vege- 
table colours  when  they  are  at  rest  amongst  the  Ling.     That 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

it  is  an  adaptation  to  the  colour  of  the  flowers  of  the  Heather 
is  negatived  by  the  fact  that  most  of  these  moths  appear  be- 
fore the  Heather  is  in  bloom,  though  the  Heath  Rustic  and 
the  Little  Yellow  Underwing  are  on  the  wing  in  August.  The 
latter,  however,  may  be  seen  from  April  to  September  on  the 
moors  where  it  is  one  of  the  most  characteristic  insects.  On 
swiddens,  a  small  moth  (Phycis  fusca)  has  sooty  black  wings  ; 
and  a  normally  green  grasshopper  also  becomes  quite  black 
in  similar  haunts.  This  hue  must  have  been  acquired  since 
mankind  took  to  burning  the  moors.  Together  with  the 
changes  to  melanism  observed  within  recent  years  in  other 
species  of  Lepidoptera,  the  change  in  Phycis  fusca  lends 
support  to  the  idea  that  insect  species  evolve  with  greater 
rapidity  than  has  been  supposed. 

The  moorland  Lepidoptera  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 
appear  to  be  distributed  pretty  evenly  over  the  district. 
On  the  other  hand  two  species,  so  far  as  present  investiga- 
tions go,  are  decidedly  restricted  in  their  range.  Noctua 
castanea,  a  moth  of  common  occurrence  on  most  moors 
throughout  Britain,  has  only  been  found  near  Scarborough. 
The  Grass  Wave  (Aspilates  strigillaria)  occurs  at  Danby  and 
Cloughton  Newlands,  and  seems  to  be  confined  to  those 
localities.  But  so  large  an  area  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands 
remains  to  be  explored  entomologically  that  no  data  really 
exist  on  which  to  found  any  conclusions  regarding  their 
local  range. 

Having  examined  some  of  the  general  characteristics  of 
the  ericetal  Lepidoptera,  we  must  next  consider  its  sub- 
divisions in  more  detail.  No  species  of  the  Myrica  associa- 
tion has  been  recorded  from  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  and 
though  one  or  two  probably  occur  where  Gale  is  abundant, 
the  majority  of  the  species  are  of  very  local  occurrence  in 

Of  the  Cotton  Grass  association,  Haworth's  Moth  ( Celana 

Haworthii)  is  the  most  numerous,  and  the  only  recorded 

species  from  the  Eastern  Moorlands.     Possessing  brownish 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

forewings  with  white  spots  and  lines,  this  dull-looking  but 
nevertheless  interesting  insect  lives  as  a  caterpillar  in  the 
stem-bases  of  the  Cotton  Grass,  and  appears  on  the  wing  in 
August  and  September  ;  though  I  once  came  across  a  speci- 
men on  the  bogs  near  Loose  Howe  as  late  as  November. 
In  its  distribution  the  moth  is  decidedly  northern.  In  this 
country  it  becomes  more  local  as  we  go  southwards,  and  is 
quite  absent  from  the  south-west  of  England.  On  the 
Continent  it  lives  on  moors  from  Lapland  to  the  Urals,  in 
Northern  Germany,  and  in  Northern  France.  Like  the  plant 
upon  which  it  feeds,  Haworth's  Moth  is  of  northern  origin  ; 
but  it  does  not  range  so  far  south  as  the  Cotton  Sedges, 
nor  is  it  found  with  them  in  Asia  or  North  America.  The 
fact  of  the  moths  becoming  rarer  southwards  also  shows 
that  it  is  a  species  which  originated  in  North  Europe,  whence 
it  has  gradually  dispersed  southwards. 

The  other  Eriophorum-feeding  Lepidoptera  are  small 
species  whose  larvae  live  in  the  seed-heads,  and  whose  dis- 
tribution is  essentially  restricted  to  North  and  Central 

Coming  next  to  the  typical  moorland  Lepidoptera,  those 
subsisting  on  Heather  and  Heaths,  and  on  Bilberry  and  its 
allies,  it  may  be  observed  that  both  groups  are  practically 
equal  in  the  number  of  species  they  support.  Upon  con- 
trasting the  way  in  which  the  families  of  the  order  are  divided 
between  the  two  groups,  we  obtain  the  following  figures  : — 

Callunal  Association.        Vaccinial  Association. 





Butterflies        3 


















Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

From  this  comparison  we  see  that  the  Callunal  group 
exceeds  the  Vaccinial  in  the    families  PyralidcB  and  Psy- 
chidce  ;  but  the  most  noteworthy  difference  is  in  the  number 
of  Tortrices,  there  being  ten  more  species  on  Bilberry  and 
Cowberry  than  on   Ling   and   Heath.     The   reason  for  this 
probably  lies  in  the  character  of  the  plants  and  the  habits 
of  the  Tortricid  larvae.     The  great  majority  of  these  pretty 
bell-shaped  moths  live  as  caterpillars  between  spun  or  rolled 
leaves,  and  this  habit  is  more  readily  facilitated  on  Bilberry 
with  its  broad  oval  leaves  than  amongst  the  minute  Heather 
leaves.     The  Vaccinial  group  also  possesses  species  which 
could  not  live  on  Heather,  viz.,   the  leaf -miners  (Nepticida 
vitisella).      This   habit  is   also  clearly  determined   by   the 
larger  leaf  area  of  Vaccinium.     Such  facts  become  signifi- 
cant when  it  is  remembered  that  they  illustrate  beyond 
question  that  the  nature  of  plants  must  to  some  extent 
determine  the  habits  cf  the  insects  which  feed  upon  them. 
With  regard  to  their  geographical  distribution,   the  two 
chief  groups  of  moorland  Lepidoptera  possess  quite  distinct 
characteristics     of    the     utmost     importance.     The     great 
majority  of  the  species  of  both  associations  occur  in  west 
central  Europe,   which   must  be  regarded   as   their   head- 
quarters.    But  when  we  turn  to  the  south  of  Europe  we 
find  there  that  the  Vaccinial  Lepidoptera  are  almost  entirely 
wanting  ;    the  few  species  that  do  occur  being  of  almost 
universal  range.     On  the  other  hand,  the  Callunal  species 
number  nearly  thirty  in  south  Europe,  though  twelve  of 
these  pass  into  the  far  north  and  belong  to  widely-ranging 
forms.     In   north   Europe,    although   the   Callunal   insects 
are  not  absent,  they  are  less  numerous  than  in  more  southern 
countries,   and  far  less  numerous  than  the  Vaccinial  asso- 
ciation which  has  about  forty  species  in  the  same  region. 
Out  of  the  fifty  species  which  constitute  the  Callunal  group 
only  nineteen  are  to  be  met  with  in  north  Europe,  and  some 
of  these  avoid  the  extreme  north.     It  thus  becomes  clear 
that,  while  overlapping  in  central  Europe,  the  two  groups 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

are  concentrated  in  a  distinct  manner  ;  the  Callunal  group 
in  south  and  south-west  Europe,  the  Vaccinial  group  in 
northern  Europe. 

Further  characteristics  are  also  possessed  by  these  insects. 
A  greater  number  of  Vaccinial  moths  live  in  west  Siberia, 
north  Asia  and  North  America.  Only  twelve  species  of 
Callunal  moths  pass  into  northern  Asia  as  compared  with 
eighteen  Vaccinial,  and  some  of  the  twelve  do  not  always 
live  upon  moorland  plants.  In  North  America  there  are 
only  five  Callunal  moths  and  ten  Vaccinial.  Again,  far 
more  of  the  latter  group  are  mountain  species  in  central 
Europe,  and  some  of  the  species  that  do  exist  in  south 
Europe  only  occur  there  on  high  mountains,  in  agreement 
with  the  distribution  of  their  food-plants. 

These  general  considerations  regarding  the  distribution 
of  the  moorland  Lepidoptera  have  been  obtained  by  a  tabu- 
lation of  the  range  of  the  species  ;  and  though  it  is  impossible 
to  give  here  in  detail  the  mass  of  ascertained  facts  from 
which  they  have  been  derived,  we  must  nevertheless  illus- 
trate them  as  far  as  possible  by  examples  drawn  from 
species  that  dwell  upon  the  Eastern  Moorlands  (see 

Widely-distributed  species  of  the  Callunal  group  are  the 
Emperor  and  Oak  Eggar  Moths,  the  former  being  found 
throughout  the  whole  of  Europe  and  far  into  Asia.  The 
latter  is  also  met  with  in  all  Europe,  except  the  extreme 
north,  and  occurs  through  Asia  Minor  into  Armenia  and 
Siberia.  Undoubtedly  the  wide  range  of  these  handsome 
insects  is  partly  attributable  to  their  ability  to  subsist  upon 
other  plants  than  Heather  when  they  are  caterpillars.  The 
Moor  Silver-Y  Moth  has  also  an  extensive  range,  and  more- 
over is  one  of  the  few  Callunal  species  that  has  its  head- 
quarters in  northern  Europe,  south  of  which  it  is  found  on 
high  mountains  as  far  as  the  Pyrenees  and  Urals.  It  even 
occurs  in  Greenland  and  northern  Asia. 

The  western  distribution  of  many  Callunal  moths  is  well 


Moorlands   of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

displayed  by  the  pretty  True  Lover's  Knot  (A grotis  stri- 
gula).  It  lives  on  heaths  throughout  the  British  Islands, 
and  on  the  Continent  extends  from  Finland  through  central 
Europe  to  northern  Italy  and  the  Moldau.  It  is  one  of 
those  insects  whose  distribution  southwards  has  been  hin- 
dered by  the  Pyrenees,  south  and  west  of  which  it  is  not 

Fig.  67. — Map  showing  Distribution  of  Heath  Rustic  Moth 
(A grotis  agathina.) 

known.  A  somewhat  rarer  moth,  the  Heath  Rustic  (Agrotis 
agathina),  (Fig.  67),  has  a  decidedly  western  range,  but  has 
been  enabled  to  spread  round  the  western  end  of  the  Pyrenees 
into  northern  Spain  and  Portugal. 

Of  species  illustrating  the  more  southern  range  of  the 
Callunal  association  we  may  take,  among  others,  the  Grass 
Wave  (Aspilates  strigillaria) ,  an  insect  previously  referred  to 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

as  having  a  somewhat  restricted  distribution  on  the  Eastern 
Moorlands  (see  plate).  A  whitish  moth,  with  greyish  lines 
across  the  wings,  this  species  occurs  in  south  and  central 
Europe,  southern  Russia,  Roumania,  and  thence  eastwards 
to  west  and  central  Asia.  That  abundant  and  beautiful 
moorland  moth,  the  Little  Yellow  Underwing  {Anuria  myr- 
iilli),  (Fig.  68),  strikingly  exemplifies  the  southern  tendency 

Fig.  68. — Map  showing  Distribution  of  the  Little  Yellow 
Underwing  Moth  (Anarta  myrtilli). 

of  the  Callunal  group.  It  belongs  to  a  genus — Anarta — 
confined  essentially  to  Vaccinium  in  high  latitudes,  though 
one  or  two  of  the  species  occurs  sporadically  on  mountains 
in  the  south  of  Europe.  In  the  species  in  question,  the 
larvae  feed — despite  the  specific  name — on  Heather  and 
Heath  ;   and  on  looking  at  its  distribution  what  do  we  find  ? 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Not  only  that  it  is  absent  from  non-polar  Europe,  in  this 
respect  differing  from  all  its  congeners  ;  but  also,  unlike 
them,  it  ranges  far  south  into  Andalusia,  the  south  of  France, 
and  central  Italy.  And  there  are  many  other  species  of  the 
Callunal  group  of  Lepidoptera  which  possess  a  similar  south- 
ward distribution. 

Turning  next  to  the  Vaccinial  group,  the  general  similarity 
of  the  distribution  of  the  different  species  renders  a  long 
series  of  illustrations  unnecessary.  The  best  instance  is 
afforded  by  the  Bilberry  Moth  (Cloantha  solidaginis) .  Its 
distribution  is  very  extensive,  as  will  be  seen  from  the  map 
in  Fig.  69.  From  Lapland  across  northern  Europe  to  the 
Urals,  in  the  Altai  Mountains,  in  Amurland,  in  North  America 
and  in  central  Europe,  particularly  on  hills  and  mountains, 
this  species  may  be  met  with.  It  is  one  of  those  moorland 
moths  which  are  also  mountain  moths,  just  in  the  same  way 
that  its  food-plant,  the  Bilberry,  grows  upon  low-lying  moors 
and  high  peaks.  In  fact  the  range  of  this  insect  very  nearly 
coincides  with  that  of  its  food-plant. 

Another  widely-distributed  species  is  the  Moor  Carpet 
(Larentia  ccesiata)  which  has  a  range  very  similar  to  that 
of  the  preceding,  and  which  occurs  on  mountains  in  central 
Europe  where  it  is  joined  by  two  allies  also  living  upon 
Bilberry.  Without  multiplying  instances,  it  may  be  stated 
that  the  following  Bilberry  species  from  North-Eastern 
Yorkshire  exhibit  a  northern  and  central  European  dis- 
tribution : —  Hadena  glauca,  Cidaria  populata,  Hypsipetes 
sordidata,   Acidalia  fumata  and  various  Tortrices. 


Hitherto  we  have  only  dealt  with  these  interesting  insects 
from  a  statical  point  of  view,  and  it  now  remains  for  us  to 
indicate  in  what  way  they  have  arisen.  For  many  reasons 
any  perfectly   definite   answer  to   this  problem  is   almost 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

impossible.  Lost  in  the  vista  of  past  centuries,  their  history 
has  been  so  much  affected  by  the  Ice  Age,  that  any  conclu- 
sions derived  from  their  distribution  can  only  be  considered 
as  tentative.  Nevertheless  we  propose  to  meet  the  problem 
in  two  ways  : — first,  by  enquiring  what  their  distribution 
signifies  apart  from  geological  considerations  ;  and  second, 
by  seeing  what  their  relationship  has  been  to  the  Ice  Age. 

And  at  the  outset  let  us  enquire  into  the  process  by  which 
an  insect  may  become  a  moorland  species,  for  this  will  enable 
us  to  comprehend  how  such  forms  have  originated  in  the 
past.  A  clue  to  the  process  we  find  in  those  insects  which 
feed  upon  both  moorland  and  other  plants.  Of  these  we 
have  the  Emperor  and  Oak  Eggar  Moths  living  upon  Ling, 
Bramble,  Hawthorn,  etc.,  the  Green  Hairstreak  Butterfly, 
and  the  July  Highflyer  (Hypsipetes  sordidata).  The 
latter  has  its  Bilberry  form  slightly  differentiated  from 
the  type  living  in  woods  and  lanes.  The  moorland  forms 
of  the  three  first-named  are  evidently  on  their  way  to  become 
distinct  species,  which  will  perhaps  differ  considerably  from 
their  allies  restricted  to  other  parts.  We  might  even  infer 
that  those  Lepidoptera  confined  to  moorlands  are  older  than 
those  other  ericetal  species  not  so  restricted,  since  with  the 
lapse  of  a  longer  period  they  have  become  completely  differ- 
entiated from  their  allies. 

But  we  may  carry  the  origin  of  moorland  moths  back  to 
an  earlier  stage,  a  stage  to  be  found  in  the  visits  paid  by 
various  non-moorland  Lepidoptera  to  Heather  bloom  ;  for 
it  is  quite  conceivable  that  many  of  these  visitors  will  lay 
their  eggs  upon  moorland  plants.  Among  the  non-ericetal 
species  known  to  visit  the  moors  in  August  are  the  following — 
the  Painted  Lady  [Vanessa  cardui),  Lithosia  complana,  Agrotis 
trilici,  Noctua  glareosa,  Noclua  dahlii,  Plusia  festucce, 
Stilbia  anomala,  etc.*  and  I  have  found  the  White  Butter- 
flies,   the   Tortoiseshell,    the   Yellow    Underwing,    and   the 

*   Knaggs,  "  Lepidopterists'  Guide." 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

Angle  Shades  Moth  upon  the  moors.  Though  far  from  their 
usual  haunts,  the  fact  of  these  species  so  occurring  is  not 
without  import,  for  here  the  deposition  of  eggs  upon  the 
wrong  food-plant  may  lead  to  the  evolution  of  ericetal 

The  deposition  of  eggs  upon  the  wrong  food-plant  must 
take  place  in  nature,  for  we  know  that  the  instinct  of  oviposi- 
tion  is  not  unerring,  moths  of  various  kinds  being  in  the 
habit  of  laying  eggs  in  the  pill-boxes,  cages  and  glass  jars 
used  by  collectors  and  breeders  of  these  insects.  Hence  if  any 
moth  deposits  its  eggs  upon  Heathei  or  Bilberry,  on  hatch- 
ing, they  will  either  perish,  or  under  pressure  of  necessity 
feed  upon  the  uncongenial  food  ;  and  collectors  are  well 
aware  that  caterpillars  may  often  be  successfully  reared  on 
foods  that  they  never  touch  under  natural  conditions. 
In  most  cases  the  mislaid  eggs  will  perish  ;  but,  when  the 
above  facts  are  remembered,  it  cannot  be  denied  that  in  the 
past  such  changes  of  food-plant  must  have  taken  place, 
and  led  to  the  formation  of  distinct  races  ultimately  verging 
into  species. 

From  this  point  of  view  the  moorland  moths,  which  feed 
upon  other  as  well  as  moorland  plants,  assume  a  new  aspect. 
On  a  priori  grounds  we  might  have  concluded  that  some 
of  the  ericetal  Lepidoptera  have  passed  from  plants  either 
directly  or  indirectly  associated  with  moors  ;  and  on  com- 
piling a  list  of  the  plants  on  which  certain  moorland  moths 
can  live,  we  find  that  most  of  them  are  associated  with 
Heather,  Heath,  Bilberry,  etc.  Amongst  such  plants  are  the 
following  : — Grasses  (Festuca,  Air  a,  etc.),  Rumex,  Myosotis, 
Scabiosa ;  Birch,  Lotus,  Salix,  Genista,  Ulex,  Cytisus  ; 
Hawthorn,  Rubus,  Polygala ;  Oak,  Menyanthes,  Pinus,  Popu- 
lus  ;   Holly,  etc. 

Caterpillars  living  upon  trees  with  an  undergrowth  of 
ericetal  plants  might  begin  to  feed  upon  the  latter.  Birch, 
Oak  and  Pine,  as  we  have  seen,  often  possess  such  an  under- 
growth, and  it  is  to  be  noted  that  several  moorland  moths 
will  also  live  upon  these  trees.     That  this  transition  has 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

actually  taken  place  of  course  cannot  be  shown  ;  but  if  we 
turn  back  to  the  account  of  the  Red  Grouse  we  shall  there 
find  that  this  bird  has  been  derived  from  a  species — the 
Ripa — which  frequents  Birch  woods  with  a  moory  under- 
growth, and  what  has  taken  place  with  the  bird  may  well 
have  happened  with  the  insects.  As  a  matter  of  fact  there 
is  no  such  thing  as  absolute  fixity  of  food  for  every  kind 
of  caterpillar.  The  experience  of  every  entomologist  proves 
this.  In  nature  the  food-plant  must  change  with  changing 
conditions,  or  if  it  profits  a  species  in  the  struggle  for  exis- 
tence. Where  we  have  woods  of  Oak  or  Birch  being  replaced 
by  moorland,  the  insects  of  the  trees  either  leave  the  locality 
or  perish,  or  some  of  them  take  to  the  new  vegetation. 
Several  moths  are  known  in  the  course  of  their  larval  develop- 
ment to  feed  upon  the  leaves  of  trees  at  one  period,  and  then 
upon  low  plants  at  another  period.  Certain  sections  of 
the  species  may  take  to  living  upon  one  or  the  other  ex- 
clusively, and  thus  give  rise  to  new  forms. 

Here,  then,  we  have  two  methods  by  which  moorland 
moths  have  arisen,  viz.  by  the  laying  of  eggs  upon  moor- 
land plants  visited  by  imagos  either  accidentally  or  for  food  ; 
and  by  the  passage  of  larvae  from  plants  not  already  moor- 
land (so  far  as  our  definition  of  moorland  Lepidoptera  is 
concerned)  to  Heather  and  Bilberry,  caused  by  a  change  of 
food  in  the  larval  stage.  In  the  first  case  the  perfect  insects 
initiate  the  transition  ;  in  the  second  case  the  larvae  initiate 
the  transition. 

Further,  when  moths  had  become  moorland  and  non- 
moorland,  the  conditions  of  life  would  tend  to  separate 
them  more  widely  from  one  another.  Another  complication 
ensues  when  a  moth  subsisting  on  Ling  might  come  to  live  on 
Bilberry,  and  vice  versa  ;  a  fact  on  which  we  have  previously 
commented.  Thus  the  moorland  moths  may  have  originated 
other  moorland  moths  amongst  themselves  ;  but  to  this 
point  I  have  not  yet  been  able  to  pay  sufficient  attention, 
though  it  would  repay  investigation. 


Moorlands  of  JSTorth-Eastern  Yorkshire 

There  is  still  another  way  in  which  some  moorland  Lepidop- 
tera  may  have  arisen,  and  that  only  in  former  ages.  They 
may  have  developed  pari  passu  with  the  plants,  and  as  these 
spread  from  their  centres  of  origin,  the  insects  spread  with 
them  ;  and  in  this  hypothesis  we  probably  find  a  clue  to 
the  general  aspects  of  their  geographical  distribution.  We 
saw  that  there  was  a  well-marked  tendency  for  the  Callunal 
Lepidoptera  to  range  into  the  south  and  south-west  of 
Europe,  and  to  avoid  the  extreme  north  of  the  Continent. 
Now  this  range  appears  to  have  some  connection  with  the 
southern  or  south-western  origin  of  the  Heather  and  the 
Heaths,  which  we  discussed  in  Chapter  VIII.  For  as  these 
plants  spread  from  that  part  of  the  Continent  north  and 
north-eastwards,  moorland  moths  would  naturally  arise 
first  in  the  former  region  and  move  with  the  plants.  Al- 
though Heather  is  found  throughout  Europe,  most  of  the 
Callunal  Lepidoptera  do  not  range  so  far  north  as  it  does, 
and  this  means  one  of  two  things  : — either  the  insects  have 
not  yet  had  time  to  range  so  far  as  the  plant,  or  they  are 
not  so  easily  adjustable  to  the  cold  climates  of  the  north 
because  of  their  more  southern  origin.  We  think  the  latter 
explanation  to  be  the  true  one.  Those  moths  with  the 
range  in  question  may  have  originated  with  the  plants,  and 
spread  with  them  from  south-west  or  southern  Europe  into 
the  central  and  northern  areas.  On  the  other  hand  there 
can  be  no  doubt  that  some  must  have  originated  in  central 
Europe,  and  pushed  northwards  or  southwards  in  their 
dispersal.  On  the  Continent  there  are  several  moorland 
species  peculiar  to  that  region,  and  they  have  probably 
arisen  there.  Such  is  Agrotis  molothina,  unknown  in  Britain 
but  found  in  France,  Germany  and  Austria.  The  Moorland 
Silver-Y  illustrates  those  Callunal  moths  which  have  arisen 
in  the  north,  a  genesis  that  has  been  of  extremely  rare  occur- 
rence amongst  them. 

The  history  of  the  species  of  Callunal  Lepidoptera  re- 
ceives little  testimony  when  we  consider  the  distribution 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

of  the  genera  ;  for  apart  from  the  difficulty  that  these  are 
somewhat  differently  defined  by  authorities,  there  is  the 
further  difficulty  that  many  of  the  species  belong  to  genera 
widely-spread  over  the  northern  hemisphere,  and  whose 
centres  of  origin  are  not  readily  traceable.  Of  the  twenty- 
nine  genera  of  Callunal  Lepidoptera  (according  to  Meyrick's 
classification),  ten  attain  a  maximum  development  in 
Europe  and  south  Europe,  viz.,  Eupethecia,  Bupalus, 
Lasiocampa,  Pleurota,  etc.  ;  nine  are  generally  abundant 
in  the  northern  hemisphere  ( Agrotis  for  instance)  ;  eight 
are  world-wide  (Plusia)  ;  one  is  North  American  ;  and  one 
is  Asiatic*  These  data  show  that  though  many  species 
have  arisen  from  European  genera,  others  have  arisen,  in 
Europe  of  course,  from  genera  whose  age  is  so  great  that 
their  range  has  become  very  extensive.  Some  moths  must 
undoubtedly  have  become  associated  with  Heather  when 
it  was  advancing  from  south-west  Europe  ;  others  would 
become  associated  when  this  plant  reached  the  west  central 
parts  of  the  Continent,  and  thence  spread  southwards  and 
northwards,  whilst  a  minority  would  arise  when  the  Heather 
reached  the  north. 

The  Emperor  Moth  seems  to  be  a  species  of  Asiatic  origin 
that  has  long  been  in  Europe  and  that  has  taken  to  a  moor- 
land life  in  comparatively  recent  times,  since  those  Emperors 
met  with  on  moors  are  not  in  any  way  distinct  from  those 
found  in  lanes  and  other  non-moorland  localities.  In 
Europe  there  is  another  species  (Saturnia  pavonia-major), 
common  in  the  south  and  passing  into  western  Asia  ;  whilst 
Saturnia  spini,  a  species  very  like  the  Emperor,  lives  in 
south-eastern  Europe,  western  and  central  Asia.  Our  own 
species  also  penetrates  into  Central  and  Western  Asia,  in 
which  Continent  numerous  other  species  of  the  genus  are 
to  be  met  with,  and  where  it  attains  its  maximum  develop- 
ment.    One  species  is  peculiar  to  Western  America.     Such 

*  Handbook  British  Lepidoptera. 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

a  distribution  points  to  a  probable  diffusion  of  Emperor 
Moths  from  Asia  by  way  of  south-eastern  Europe.  Upon 
the  evolution  of  heaths  and  moors  the  native  species  at  once 
took  to  them,  so  that  in  some  districts  Emperor  Moths  and 
moors  form  an  almost  indissoluble  association  of  ideas. 
The  eye-like  markings  on  the  wings  of  this  beautiful  insect 
have  long  been  a  puzzle  to  evolutionists  ;  but  may  it  not 
be  possible  that  the  "  eyes  "  were  acquired  in  adaptation, 
not  to  its  present  environment,  but  to  an  ancestral  environ- 
ment ?  It  is  too  frequently  assumed  that  insect  colours 
are  only  adapted  to  their  present  surroundings  ;  but  this 
is  not  obvious  in  the  case  of  the  Emperor  Moth  which  may 
in  its  "  eyes  "  still  possess  an  adaptation  to  its  Asiatic  home, 
but  which  may  be  neither  injurious  nor  of  any  apparent 
utility  in  its  moorland  haunts.  It  has  been  stated  that 
this  moth  is  protectively  coloured  when  at  rest  upon  the 
Heather.  Apart  from  the  fact  that  the  insect  is  not  found 
on  moors  over  a  wide  area  of  its  range  where  its  colours  on 
this  theory  would  be  of  little  use,  the  alleged  resemblance  is 
not  true  ;  for  having  noticed  innumerable  Emperor  Moths 
at  rest,  I  fail  to  see  wherein  the  protection  lies,  for  the 
insect  is  very  conspicuous. 

Leaving  the  Callunal  Lepidoptera  and  turning  to  the 
Vaccinial,  we  shall  find  that  the  northern  origin  of  these  is 
much  clearer  than  the  origin  of  the  southern  group.  The 
fact  that  all  or  nearly  all  the  species  are  inhabitants  of 
northern  Europe,  and  do  not  occur  in  the  south  (despite 
the  presence  of  the  Bilberry  and  Cowberry) ,  shows  definitely 
their  northern  origin.  If  they  had  been  insects  of  southern 
origin  we  should  have  expected  them  to  be  more  numerous 
upon  their  food-plants  in  that  area.  Again  the  Vaccinial 
Lepidoptera  have  twelve  species  common  to  the  American 
and  European  Continents,  a  distribution  corresponding 
more  or  less  to  that  of  Vaccinium.  From  these  facts  we 
may  conclude  that  as  the  Vacciniales  arose  in  the  manner 
previously  described  (Chapter  VIII.),  the  insects  originated 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

with  them  in  the  north,  and  gradually  dispersed  south- 
wards with  the  advent  of  the  cooler  Pleistocene  climates. 
Only  a  few  species  appear  to  have  been  evolved  in  central 
Europe  ;  Nepticula  myrtillela,  a  small  moth  which  mines 
Bilberry  leaves  in  the  larval  stage  probably  being  one. 

The  genera  of  Vaccinial  Lepidoptera  (omitting  those 
which  also  possess  Callunal  species)  are  generally  distributed 
in  north  temperate  regions  ;  none  appears  to  be  peculiar  to 
Europe,  and  this  accords  with  the  theory  of  their  northern 
distribution.  Of  course,  as  in  the  case  of  the  Heather  moths, 
it  can  scarcely  be  doubted  that  some  forms  would  arise 
after  the  Bilberry  and  its  allies  spread  into  central  Europe, 
and  these  may  have  travelled  northwards,  but  why  they 
should  have  almost  universally  neglected  to  pass  south- 
wards is  inexplicable  on  the  theory  of  their  mid-European 
evolution.  When  the  two  sets  of  ericetal  plants  com- 
mingled, the  insects  would  become  associated  and  pass  from 
one  plant  to  another  as  before  indicated. 

Such   then   appears   to   be   the   origin   of  the   moorland 
Lepidoptera  considered  solely  in  relation  to  their  geographi- 
cal distribution   and  to  the  history   of  their  food-plants. 
In  dealing  with  them  we  have  so  far  refrained  from  re- 
garding them  from  a  geological  standpoint;     but  now  the 
question  arises  as  to  their  geological  age  and  the  influence 
of  the  Glacial  Period  upon  their  distribution.     With  respect 
to  their  age  we  possess  no  direct  evidence  to  prove  when 
these  insects  originated  or  when  they  first  entered  Britain. 
Of  course  they  cannot  be  older  than  the  ericetal  plants, 
so  that  if  they  evolved  contemporaneously  with  these,  they 
date  back  probably  to  the  late  Pliocene  or  even  earlier ;  and 
if  the  moorland  plants  were  distributed  then  as  now,  the 
moths  must  have  had  a  somewhat  similar  distribution.     The 
on-coming  of  the  Ice  Age,  however,  would  affect  them  pro- 
foundly, for  wherever  the  glaciers  existed  animal  life  would 
be  more  or  less  impossible  ;   and  as  most  of  northern  Europe 
was  thus  covered,  the  pre-glacial  faunas  must  have  been 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

almost  exterminated  by  the  advent  of  the  ice  sheets.  Only 
on  oases  left  free  at  the  period  of  maximum  glaciation  could 
any  survival  possibly  take  place,  and  it  remains  for  us  to 
see  what  occurred  with  the  animal  life  of  the  moors  at  this 
momentous  stage  in  their  history. 

The  on-coming  of  the  Glacial  Period  would  in  all  probability 
lead  to  an  influx  of  northern  and  Arctic  species  into  the 
district,  corresponding  to  an  efflux  of  temperate  and  southern 
species.     This  efflux  would  act  in  two  ways  ;    some  species 
would  move  southwards,   and  others,   more  stationary  in 
their  habits  and  less  adaptable,  would  die  out.     Now  since 
the  Callunal  insects  are  more  southern  and  temperate  in 
their  habits  than  the  Vaccinial,  it  seems  safe  to  infer  that 
the  former  species  became  non-existent  on  the  moors,  and 
the  latter,   better  adapted  to  cold  climates,   increased  in 
numbers.     With  the  epoch  of  maximum  glaciation  at  hand, 
a  refuge  would  still  be  available  for  many  species  on  the 
driftless  area,  and  having  formerly  given  reasons  for  thinking 
that  several  plants  survived  the  Ice  Age  within  the  limits  of 
the  ice-sheets,  we  shall  find  that  there  are  equally  cogent 
reasons  for  concluding  that  numerous  insects  living  upon 
these  plants,  likewise  passed  through  the  age  of  cold  on  the 
driftless  area.     If  any  existing  moorland  or  other  species 
of  British  insects  live  in  Greenland  or  other  Arctic  lands, 
then   they  in  all  likelihood  lived  throughout   the  Glacial 
Period  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire.      Remembering  that  the 
ice-free  area  not  only  includes  the  open  moors  but  also  the 
more  sheltered  southern  dales,  let  us  note  the  evidence  on 
which  glacial  survival  may  be  established. 

The  following  British  insects  live  at  the  present  time  in 
Greenland  ;  the  three  marked  with  an  asterisk  being  moor- 
land species  : — 

Name.  Authority. 


Plusia  inter rogationis*  . .  . .     Rink 

Eupethecia  nan  at  a  var.  gelidata*      . .     Spuler 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

Cheimatobia  briunata  . .  . .  . .      Rink 

Hadena  occulta  var.  implicata  . .     Spuler 


Bradycellus  cognatus*  . .  . .     Fowler 

Otiorrhynchus  manrus  . .  . .  do. 

Creophilus  maxillosus  . .  . .         do. 

Patrobus  septentrionalis  . .  . .     Calwer 

Quedius  juligidus         . .  . .  . .     Fowler 


Orthezia  cataphracta  . .  . .     Scharff 

These  are  all  that  I  have  been  able  to  find  ;  doubtless 
others  have  been  recorded  ;  but  the  list  shows  it  is  exceeding- 
ly probable  that  some  insects  did  manage  to  survive  the 
Ice  Age,  and  on  looking  at  the  Greenland  and  Arctic  faunas 
generally  there  are  further  facts  in  support  of  the  theory. 

The  cases  of  Plusia  interrogationis  and  Eupthecia  nanata 
are  extremely  instructive,  for  if  such  apparently  delicate 
insects  can  become  adapted  to  the  icy  conditions  of  Green- 
land, there  seems  no  reason  why  other  moorland  moths 
should  not  also  have  become  adapted  to  the  icy  climates  of 
Pleistocene  times.  Singularly  enough  the  two  moths  belong 
to  the  Callunal  association,  one  of  them  being  of  northern 

The  extraordinary  adaptability  of  insects  is  well  brought 
out  by  this  enquiry.  Apart  from  the  species  just  enu- 
merated, the  Green  Hairstreak  Butterfly  not  only  exists 
throughout  Europe  but  also  occurs  in  sub-tropical  north 
Africa  and  in  sub-Arctic  Asia!  This  affords  further 
support  to  the-  possibility  of  glacial  survivals  ;  and  further 
verification  is  forthcoming  when  we  consider  the  insect  life 
of  lands  still  nearer  the  Pole.  "  The  officers  of  the  British 
North  Pole  expedition,  under  the  command  of  Sir  George 
Xares,  brought  home  a  surprisingly  rich  insect  fauna  from 
Grinnell  Land,  lying  between  the  seventy-eighth  and  eighty- 
third  parallel  of  latitude,  comprising  no  less  than  forty-five 
species  of  true  insects  and  sixteen  arachnids  ;    the  former 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

distributed  as  follows  : — Hymenoptera,  five  species,  including 
two  humble  bees  ;  Coleoptera,  one  ;  Lepidoptera,  thirteen  ; 
Diptera,  fifteen  ;  Hemiptera,  one  ;  Mallophaga,  seven  ; 
and  Collembola,  three.  Among  the  Lepidoptera  are  a 
number  of  forms  belonging  to  genera  common  in  the  tem- 
perate zones  such  as  Colias,  Argynnis,  Lyccena,  etc.,  which 
appear  the  more  remarkable  seeing  that  the  species  of  this 
order  are  more  limited  in  Greenland  (with  an  insect  fauna 
numbering  eighty  species),  and  that  no  forms  are  met  with 
either  in  Iceland  or  Spitzbergen,  although  upwards  of  three 
hundred  species  of  insects  are  represented  in  the  former."* 
Taking  all  these  facts  into  consideration,  the  adaptability 
of  insects  to  extremes  of  climate,  the  faunas  of  the  Arctic 
regions,  and  the  isolated  occurrence  of  species  in  connection 
with  the  unglaciated  area  {ante,  p.  274),  as  well  as  the  peculiar 
distribution  of  many  insects  in  Europe — which  appears  in- 
explicable on  the  hypothesis  of  their  having  retreated 
southwards,  and  then  advanced  northwards  again  after  the 
disappearance  of  the  ice-sheets — we  may  conclude  that  the 
effects  of  the  Ice  Age  on  the  moorland  insects  have  not  been 
so  destructive  as  we  might  at  first  suppose  ;  and  that 
wherever  ice-free  oases  existed,  invertebrates  varying  in 
numbers  according  to  the  areas  of  the  different  regions  lived 
upon  them  throughout  the  Glacial  Period.  I  believe  that  a 
careful  investigation  of  unglaciated  tracts  of  country  in 
relation  to  the  habits  and  distribution  of  insects  will  elucidate 
many  problems  of  their  present  range.  So  far  as  the  ericetal 
Lepidoptera  are  concerned,  the  Ice  Age  may  not  have  caused 
great  changes  in  their  distribution.  Some  lived  on  un- 
glaciated regions,  and  spread  therefrom  after  the  ice-sheets 
had  waned  ;  northern  forms  doubtless  spread  southwards 
and  ultimately  died  out  in  many  southern  localities,  though  a 
few  managed  to  escape  on  to  high  mountains  ;  whilst  the 
southern  species  remaining  stationary  in  south  Europe 
dispersed  to  their  northern  haunts  after  its  close. 

*  Heilprin's    '  Geographical  Distribution  of  Animals,"  p.  280. 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

It  is  a  question  whether  some  species  may  not  have  arisen 
in  post-glacial  times,  as  we  saw  was  the  case  with  the  Red 
Grouse.  Local  races  of  various  Lepidoptera  are  known  to 
occur  in  different  parts  of  Europe  and  Great  Britain.  Thus 
we  have  in  this  country  a  dark  form  of  C.  solidaginis 
occurring  as  a  variety  at  Cannock  Chase,  whilst  it  is  widely 
diffused  in  various  parts  of  Europe.  Are  we  to  suppose 
that  this  form  and  countless  other  local  forms  have  existed 
since  pre-glacial  times,  and  participated  in  the  great  events 
of  the  Glacial  Period  ?  Is  it  not  much  simpler  to  suppose 
they  have  been  evolved  in  their  present  haunts  since  the 
Ice  Age  ?  When  we  reflect  on  the  rapid  changes  to  melanism 
that  have  taken  place  with  numerous  moths  within  the  last 
century,  it  seems  a  certain  conclusion  that  insect  species  are 
modified  with  greater  rapidity  than  has  hitherto  been  thought 
possible.  Entomologists  have  taken  it  for*  granted  that 
species  have  existed  unchanged  for  thousands  of  years, 
despite  the  fact  that  no  evidence  of  this  is  forthcoming, 
for  scientific  observations  of  a  continuous  character  have 
not  been  made  for  more  than  a  few  centuries.  If  our 
supposition  be  true,  then  we  may  explain  a  great  number  of 
peculiar  distributions  by  assuming  that  the  species  concerned 
have  arisen  in  post-glacial  times. 

After  the  Ice  Age,  those  moorland  species  which  had 
become  extinct  in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  would  return 
either  from  the  south  of  England  or  by  land  across  the 
North  Sea  from  the  Continent,  and  their  competition  has 
unquestionably  driven  out  most  of  the  Arctic  species  which 
formerly  lived  upon  the  moors.  Whatever  botanical 
changes  may  have  transpired  in  post-glacial  times  must  have 
affected  the  fauna  of  the  moors,  though  perhaps  in  a 
slight  degree.  It  must  always  be  borne  in  mind,  too, 
that  the  changes  which  must  have  taken  place  with  ericetal 
insects  during  the  varying  conditions  of  Pleistocene  times, 
must  have  modified  the  aspects  of  their  pre-glacial  dis- 
tribution,   though   how    much  we  cannot  say.      And  this 

305  u 

Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

disturbing  cause  must  always  be  recognised  when  attempting 
to  deduce  general  conclusions  regarding  the  origin  of  any 
group  of  British  animals. 

Our  investigations  into  the  origin  of  the  moorland  moths 
have  carried  us  far  from  the  peaty  uplands  of  Black-a-more 
to  the  sunny  shores  of  the  Mediterranean,  to  the  great  chains 
of  the  Alps  and  Pyrenees,  to  Greenland,  and  to  Siberia. 
These  fragile  insects  which  fly  out  of  the  Heather  by  the 

Fig.  69. — Map  showing  Distribution  of  Bilberry  Moth, 
(Cloantha  solidaginis) . 

roadsides  on  our  familiar  Yorkshire  hills  are  the  bearers  of 
secrets  to  which  those  of  state  seem  trifling  in  comparison. 
And  as  a  last  illustration  of  what  they  can  tell  us  of  the 
past  we  may  refer  to  the  evidence  they  furnish  as  to  a 
former  land  connection  between  North  America  and  north 
Europe.  Nearly  twenty  species  of  these  moorland  moths 
including  the  Heath  Pug,  the  Moor  Carpet  Moth,  tne  Bil- 
berry Moth,  the  little  black  Phycis  fusca,  so  abundant  on 
swiddens,  live  in  North  America  ;    and  it  seems  impossible 


Insect  Life  on  the  Moors 

to  imagine  that  they  could  have  passed  from  one  continent 
to^the  other  unless  direct  land  connections  were  available, 
probably  in  pre-glacial  times. 

With  the  Lepidoptera  our  account  of  the  fauna  must 
close,  imperfect  as  the  outline  of  this  extensive  subject 
has  been.  We  cannot  regard  our  knowledge  of  the  fauna 
of  the  moors  as  anything  like  complete  until  further  detailed 
work  has  been  made  upon  the  spiders,  crustaceans,  centi- 
pedes, and  other  forms  of  invertebrate  life  ;  and  it  may 
be  years  before  we  can  treat  of  their  origin  in  the  same  way 
that  we  have  dealt  with  the  origin  of  the  birds  and  moths. 
From  what  has  been  said,  however,  we  have  learnt  that  the 
moorland  animals  have  had  a  very  complex  history  ex- 
tending many  ages  into  the  past,  and  of  which  we  can  frame 
but  inadequate  ideas.  For  some,  an  imperfect  picture  of 
their  evolution  can  be  formed  ;  for  many  others,  even  an 
imperfect  picture  is  an  impossibility,  since  all  or  nearly 
all  records  of  their  history  have  passed  away  for  ever. 




E  have  now  reached  the  end  of  ourinvestigatioa 
into  the  origin  and  natural  history  of  the 
Eastern  Moorlands.  To  the  questions  pro- 
pounded at  the  outset  we  have  received 
definite  answers  ;  and  it  will  be  well  before  bringing 
this  work  to  a  close  to  review  the  results  we  have 
obtained,  and  to  sum  up  as  briefly  as  the  complexity  of  the 
subject  will  allow,  the  causes  wlroh  have  led  to  the  evolution 
of  the  moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire. 

Enquiring  into  the  present  botanical  aspects  of  the  moors, 
we  first  examined  their  plant  associations,  their  relative 
abundance,  and  their  distribution  over  the  district.  We 
found  that  the  pure  Heather  moor,  both  of  the  fat  and 
thin  varieties  is  by  far  the  most  dominant  of  all  the 
ericetal  plant  communities,  though  in  certain  well-defined 
areas  it  is  replaced  by  associations  in  which  Ling  occupies 
but  a  subordinate  position  and  even  becomes  totally  absent. 
Of  these  the  Cotton  Sedge  and  Sphagnum  Bog-  -Eriophore- 
tum — prevails  upon  the  high  central  watershed  and  in 
many  of  the  slacks,  though  existing  sporadically  on  a 
small  scale  on  most  moors.  Where,  towards  their 
boundary,  the  moors  shelve  away  in  gentle  slopes,  grasses 
of  various  species  and  Furze  constitute  a  prominent 
feature  of  the  vegetation,  and  we  observed  that  such 
heathy  pastures  on  some  parts  of  the  Tabular  Hills  be- 
come grassy  commons  with  little  or  no  Heather  in  their 
composition.  On  steep  slopes,  Bracken  and  Bilberry  were 
seen  to  be  the  characteristic  plants,  and  in  many  instances 
to  flourish  under  Birch  and  Oak  trees  in  wooded  gills.  Junceta 
were  found  to  be  of  very  general  occurrence  principally  in 



shallow  slacks  and  occasionally  on  the  Mosses  ;  whilst  bogs, 
characterised  by  the  presence  of  Sweet  Gale  appear  to 
be  restricted  to  the  south-eastern  portion  of  the  moorland 

These  differences  in  the  plant  life  we  next  found  to  corres- 
pond more  or  less  closely  to  variations  in  the  nature  of  the 
soil,  variations  due  to  position  in  relation  to  slope  and 
rainfall.  The  soil  in  its  original  form  consisted  of  sand  and 
coarse  sandstone  ;  but  the  action  of  the  plants  has  resulted 
in  the  formation  of  deposits  of  peat  or  raw-humus,  the 
varying  proportions  of  which  largely  influence  the  vegeta- 
tion. On  the  pure  Heather  moor,  the  raw-humus,  about  a 
foot  in  depth,  covers  a  peaty  sand,  at  the  base  of  which  and 
resting  upon  the  stony  soil,  runs  a  hard  band  of  that  remark- 
able substance  called  moor-pan.  On  reviewing  the  tran- 
sitional stages  to  the  Common  we  saw  the  peat  become 
thinner  and  thinner  until  it  disappears,  the  stony  soil 
ultimately  rising  to  the  surface.  Coincident  with  these 
changes  we  noted  that  the  grass  moors  are  much  drier 
and  that  pan  is  absent  from  them. 

On  the  other  hand  the  Eriophoreta  exist  under  conditions 
quite  the  reverse  of  these.  Here  the  raw-humus  forms  vast 
beds  of  peat  often  thirty  feet  thick  and  very  wet  at  all  times 
of  the  year.  To  these  edaphic  conditions  the  moorland 
plants  are  specially  adapted,  and  as  showing  how  other 
species  could  not  live  upon  the  moors  we  instanced  the 
remarkable  fact  that  on  swiddens  non-ericetal  plants  never 

We  briefly  glanced  at  the  climatic  condition  of  the  Eastern 
Moorlands,  and  found  that  owing  to  their  elevation  the 
rainfall  averages  about  thirty-two  inches  per  annum  and 
is  probably  much  more  upon  the  watershed  ;  whilst  it 
exceeds  that  of  the  lowlands  by  at  least  six  inches  per 
annum.  These  conditions  of  plant  life  agree  in  all  particu- 
lars with  those  obtaining  in  other  moorland  districts  ;  and 
it  can  now  be  confidently  asserted  that  the  essential  atmos- 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

pheric  conditions  for  the  development  of  Heather  moorland, 
are  a  plentful  supply  of  rain  not  falling  below  twenty-four 
inches  per  annum,  as  the  researches  of  Graebner  on  the 
north  German  plain  prove,  and  an  open  winter  where  long 
frosts  are  not  frequent.     Where  the  rainfall  exceeds  this 
minimum  as  it  does   in  North-Eastern  Yorkshire,  we  find 
the  wetter  types  of  ericetal  vegetation  ;   and  on  the  wettest 
parts  of  the  uplands,  the  central  watershed,  these  types 
dominate.     The   essential   edaphic   conditions    are   a   poor 
sandy  soil  deficient  in  plant  food,  and  above  all  a  great 
thickness  of  raw-humus  or    peat,  which  is  especially  de- 
veloped where  the  moisture  conditions  are  excessive  ;   peat 
being  practically  absent  from  the  drier  grass  moors.     On 
such  grass  moors  we  noticed  that  the   Heather  is  stunted 
in  growth  and  less  dominant  ;  but  where  the  peat  is  very 
thick  and  very  wet,  the  Heather,  although  not  dwarfed,  has 
to  yield  to  plants  more  suitable  to  wetter  localities — Cotton 
Sedge,  Bog  Moss,  and  Pink  Bell  Heath.     The  presence  of 
pan  is  thus  shown  to  be  non-essential,  its  principal  effect 
being  that  it  prevents  the  roots  of  trees  or  non-moorland 
plants  from  reaching  the  true  soil  and  so  hinders  their  vigor- 
ous or  abundant   growth.      Pan   underlies  a  considerable 
area  of  the  Eastern  Moorlands,  but  is  clearly  absent  even 
from  many  pure  Heather  moors  ;  though  here  the  thickness 
of  the  raw-humus  is  so  great  and  the  Heather  so  vigorous 
that  other  species  have  very  little  opportunity  of  obtaining 
a  foothold. 

The  peculiar  vegetation  of  slopes  was  ascribable  to  different 
conditions  from  those  of  the  true  moors,  viz.,  to  an  accumu- 
lation of  down-wash,  to  shelter  from  the  wind,  to  the  general 
absence  of  thick  peat,  and  to  the  position  of  the  slope  as 
regards  the  points  of  the  compass  as  well  as  to  its  inclination. 
Having  thus  ascertained  the  present  botanical  aspects  of 
the  moors,  we  then  considered  their  origin  and  the  changes 
they  had  undergone  since  the  moorland  plants  first  entered 
the  district.    We  saw  reasons  for  thinking  that  the  Heather 



and  Heaths  arose  in  south  and  south-west  Europe  in  the 
Pliocene  period,  and  that  the  Bilberry  and  its  allies,  the 
Cotton  Sedges  and  other  species,  arose  in  northern  lands  (the 
exact  centre  being  undeterminable)  during  the  same  geologi- 
cal age.  The  moors  probably  existed  in  late  Pliocene  times, 
and  the  researches  of  Mr.  Clement  Reid  were  quoted  to  show 
how  the  ericetal  species  ranged  back  not  only  to  the  Glacial 
Period  but  also  to  the  late  Pliocene. 

Special  attention  was  directed  to  the  glaciation  of  the 
moorland  country,  and  it  was  pointed  out  how  the  uplands 
were  ice-free  at  that  period,  but  that  the  ice-sheets  surround- 
ing them  obstructed  the  drainage  of  the  dales,  and  caused 
glacier-lakes  to  be  formed  in  the  valleys,  the  overflow 
channels  of  which  lakes — the  slacks — form  such  a  striking 
feature  of  the  northern  and  eastern  moors,  and  which  have 
been  so  ably  elucidated  by  Professor  Kendall.  We  also 
found  that  on  parts  of  the  moors,  more  especially  in  the 
north  and  east,  their  boundary  coincided  with  the  line  of 
maximum  glaciation,  the  superior  soils  of  the  drift-covered 
country  being  more  amenable  to  reclamation  than  the 
driftless  area. 

Reasons  were  also  advanced  for  thinking  that  the  driftless 
area  supported  some  kind  of  vegetation  during  the  Ice  Age 
— an  oasis  of  life  in  a  desert  of  ice — including  not  only 
genuine  Arctic  species  but  also  most  of  the  chief  members  of 
the  present  flora — Heather,  Cotton  Sedges,  Crowberry,  Mat 
Grass,  etc.  To  the  facts  adduced  in  support  of  this  conten- 
tion may  also  be  quoted  another  fact  which  still  further 
strengthens  the  idea.  In  Siberia  there  occurs  what  is  known 
as  "  fossil  ice,"  which,  owing  to  the  rigour  of  the  climate, 
has  survived  from  the  Glacial  Period,  and  upon  the  surface 
of  which  peat  with  plants  has  accumulated! 

With  the  disappearance  of  the  glaciers  and  the  ameliora- 
tion of  the  climate,  moors  developed  from  the  Arctic  plant 
communities  of  the  driftless  area,  stragglers  of  which  alone 
remain,    the    Dwarf   Cornel,    the    Bearberry,    Linnaca,  etc. 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

In  post-glacial  times  many  plants  that  became  extinct  in 
the  district  during  the  Ice  Age  again  re-appeared  on  the 
scene — Bracken,  Sweet  Gale,  and  the  two  Heaths. 

The  data  we  obtained  from  our  investigation  of  the  present 
botanical  aspects  of  the  moors,  enabled  us  to  trace  their 
development  both  in  regard  to  their  vegetation  and  their 
soils.     Besides    indicating    the    manner   in    which  Heather 
moorland  arose  on  the  bare  soil,  we  also  described  the  history 
and  origin  of  the  peat  mosses  of  the  watershed  and  the 
glacial  slacks,  and  showed  how  the  former  had  largely  re- 
placed the  site  of  pools  or  small  lakes,  and  the  latter  had 
occupied  the  site  of  woods  of  Oak  and  Birch.     The  former 
wooded   state   of    the    moors  is   a   problem  to   which   we 
devoted  much  attention,  and  from  the  available  evidence 
we  came  to  the  conclusion  that,  though  the  Bracken  slopes, 
slacks,  and  gills,  and  some  parts  of  the  lower  moors  have  un- 
doubtedly been  clothed  with  scrubs  of  Oak,  Birch,  and  Rowan, 
yet  the  higher  moors  were  never  so  clothed.     In  Chapter  I. 
we  inferred  this  from  an  examination  of  the  course  of  the 
roads  and  other  facts  ;   a  conclusion  which  we  were  enabled 
to  confirm  in  the  chapter  on  the  Mosses  by  finding  that  their 
great  beds  of  peat  are  practically  devoid  of  tree  remains. 
The  destruction  of  the  timber  in  the  slacks,  though  probably 
accelerated   by   man,    we   could   not   definitely   ascribe   to 
fluctuations  of  climate  in  post-glacial  times,  for  though  the 
peat  beds  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire  yield  evidence  of  one 
Forestian  stage,  the  disappearance  of  trees  in  these  valleys 
seems   to   be   due   to    their    peculiar    drainage    conditions 
leading  to  the  development  of  bogs  upon  their  floors,  which 
development  takes  place  under   most   changes  of   climate 
except  very  dry  ones.     Before  the  coming  of  man  the  general 
aspect  of  the  district  was  that  of  forest  above  which  rose 
the  moorlands.     In  the  forest  roamed  the  deer,  the  bear, 
the  wild  ox,  and  the  wild  boar  ;   whilst  the  moors  were  the 
home  of  the  fox,  the  wolf,  the  grouse,  the  raven,  and  the 



Although  the  boundary  of  the  moors  was  partially  ac- 
counted for  by  the  glaciation  of  the  district,  their  southern 
and  western  limits  could  not  be  thus  explained.  The 
solution  to  this  problem  we  found  in  the  character,  deposition, 
and  geological  history  of  the  moorland  rocks,  which  have 
been  the  chief  factors  at  work  in  causing  the  peculiar  dis- 
tribution of  the  Eastern  Moorlands.  First,  we  dealt  with 
these  strata  according  to  their  geological  age  and  character, 
and  noted  the  conditions  under  which  they  were  deposited 
in  the  Jurassic  period.  The  formation  of  the  Bajocian 
estuarine  grits  and  sandstones  constitutes  the  earliest  stage 
in  the  evolution  of  the  moors.  For  the  sands  and  muds 
out  of  which  these  strata  have  been  formed  and  into  which 
they  are  again  being  resolved,  gave  rise  to  the  barren  stony 
soils  of  the  uplands,  so  indispensable  in  the  development  of 
Heather  moorland.  After  their  deposition  these  strata 
underwent  many  changes  until  after  the  Cretaceous  period 
they  were  uplifted  above  the  sea,  and  worn  down  to  a  plain 
of  marine  or  sub-aerial  denudation.  We  advanced  reasons 
for  thinking  that  the  old  hypothesis  of  Phillips,  viz.,  that 
the  sea  has  been  responsible  for  the  even-topped  uplands, 
receives  a  partial  verification  in  the  presence  of  peculiar 
quartzite  pebbles  occurring  on  the  moors  near  Glaisdale 
and  Goathland  ;  but  in  whatever  particular  way  the  moor- 
land plateau  was  formed,  it  underwent  a  further  uplift  in 
Miocene  times,  which  produced  a  dome-shaped  mass  of 
high  land.  We  may  best  picture  to  ourselves  the  geological 
structure  of  the  moorland  country  if  we  take  Botton  Head 
as  a  centre.  Eastwards,  for  fifteen  miles,  dips  the  anti- 
cline ;  whilst  north  and  south,  the  strata  roll  over  to  the 
Esk  Valley  and  the  Vale  of  Pickering. 

These  dips  profoundly  affected  the  erosion  of  the  moor- 
land rocks  and  led  to  their  present  distribution,  the  forma- 
tion of  the  great  dales,  and  the  bold  escarpments  of  the 
Tabular,  Cleveland,  and  Hambleton  Hills.  The  southern 
boundary  of  the  moors  was  observed  to  coincide  more  or 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

less  closely  with  the  Tabular  range,  due  to  the  fact  that 
with  them  the  Bajocian  strata  no  longer  appear  at  the 
surface,  but  are  covered  by  the  rich  calcareous  Corallian 
rocks  which  produce  soils  unsuited  to  moorland  plants. 
The  large  area  occupied  by  the  Bajocian  beds  we  found 
was  owing  to  their  harder  character  and  to  their  having 
been  less  exposed  to  erosion  than  the  softer  overlying  strata. 
With  the  aid  of  the  geological  structure  we  were  enabled  to 
trace  the  origin  of  many  of  the  physical  features  of  the  moors, 
such  as  the  Hole  of  Horcum,  Freeborough  Hill,  the  Howe 
at  Castleton,  the  outliers  of  Moor  Grit  and  Kellaways  Rock, 
and  the  moorland  scarps  and  boulders. 

Lastly,  the  fauna  of  the  moors  claimed  our  attention. 
Somewhat  scanty  as  this  was  found  to  be,  it  was  shown  that 
the  animal  life  of  the  moors  has  not  been  without  influence 
upon  the  vegetation  ;    and  as  instances  of  this  influence  it 
was  pointed  out  how  sheep  cause  grass  to  appear,  how  ants 
distribute  seeds,  and  how  the  soil  remains  undisturbed  by 
moles,  worms,  or  grubs.     The  fauna  must  also  have  partici- 
pated in  the  history  of  the  flora  ;   and  when  examining  the 
Lepidoptera  we  concluded  that  their  distribution  in  two 
well-defined  areas  of  Europe  was  to  some  extent  indicative 
of  their  origin  with  their  respective  food  plants,  the  Bil- 
berry and  its  allies  in  the  north,  and  the  Heather  and  its 
allies  in  south  and  west  Europe.     The  history  of  the  Red 
Grouse  was  studied  in  detail  not  only  because  it  is  the 
characteristic  bird  of  the  moors,  but  also  because  it  very 
clearly  illustrates  how  a  knowledge   of  the  past   botanical 
and    geological    changes    the      moors     have      undergone, 
elucidates  the  origin  of  their  animal  inhabitants.     In  truth 
the  history  of  the  Red  Grouse  has  wider  ramifications  than 
we  might  suppose  ;    for  grouse  shooting  has  largely  deter- 
mined the  movements  of   society  in  August — the  "  rush  to 
the  moors  " — and  is  indirectly  responsible  for  the  general 
holidays  of  that  month  ;  and  since  the  Red  Grouse  probably 
owes  its  presence  in  Britain  to  the  Ice  Age,  we  see  clearly  that 



but  for  that  colossal  episode  particular  movements  of  man- 
kind would  not  have  taken  place. 

The  altitude  of  the  moors  is  too  low  for  any  markedly 
northern  types  of  animals  to  live  upon  them.  With  the 
exception  of  a  few  species  the  fauna  forms  part  of  that 
typical  of  England,  viz.,  the  Continental  or  Germanic 
type,  and  consequently  it  does  not  differ  greatly  from  that 
of  lowland  heaths  in  other  parts  of  the  country.  The  high 
watershed  between  the  great  dales  has  not  yet  been  explored 
by  zoologists,  and  it  is  not  unlikely  that  some  rare  species 
may  be  discovered  which  will  further  elucidate  the  zoolo- 
gical history  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire. 

We  have  also  surveyed  many  remarkable  scenes — the 
intricate  network  of  glacial  valleys  on  Murk  Mire  Moor  and 
behind  Robin  Hood's  Bay  ;  the  wide  expanses  of  peat  and 
bog  on  the  watershed  ;  the  great  dales  radiating  from  the 
tableland  ;  the  impressive  ranges  of  the  Cleveland,  Ham- 
bleton,  and  Tabular  Hills  with  their  singular  outliers  ;  the 
breezy  upland  swards  of  Dalby  Warren,  intersected  by  deep 
heather-clad  gorges  ;  and  the  precipitous  cliffs  and  wonder- 
ful aspects  of  Newton  Dale.  We  have  also  traced  the 
equally  remarkable  changes  which  these  scenes  have  under- 
gone in  past  ages  ;  the  estuarine  conditions  which  led  to  the 
formation  of  the  rocks  ;  the  origin  of  the  familiar  moorland 
plants — Bracken,  Heather,  Bilberry,  Sweet  Gale  ;  the  forma- 
tion of  peat  and  acid  humus,  and  the  indications  they  yield 
of  the  former  wooded  state  of  the  uplands  ;  the  natural 
architecture  and  sculpturing  of  the  dales  and  hills  ;  the 
evidences  of  the  Great  Ice  Age  in  the  form  of  a  system  of 
glacier-lakes  ;  and  the  history  of  the  moorland  animals 
and  their  influence  upon  the  plant  life. 

Thus  in  these  pages  we  have  endeavoured  to  show  that 
the  black  and  brown  peat  with  its  embedded  boulders,  the 
plants  nodding  over  the  lichened  surfaces  of  the  stones,  the 
insects  and  birds  concealed  in  the  vegetation,  and  the  storms 
of  rain  and  wind  which  sweep  over  the  moorland  plateau, 


Moorlands  of  North-Eastern  Yorkshire 

form  an  impressive  whole  which  cannot  be  fully  understood 
unless  all  its  elements  are  considered. 

Before  finally  leaving  the  moors  let  us  once  more  survey 
from  some  coign  of  vantage  this  land  of  Heather  and  peat 
with  the  accumulated  knowledge  which  we  now  possess  of 
its  plant  life,  natural  history,  and  origin.  From  no  one 
point  is  it  possible  to  survey  the  whole  of  Black-a-more  ; 
but  from  the  moors  to  the  east  of  Goathland  we  obtain 
perhaps  the  most  comprehensive  view  of  the  region  we  have 
been  studying.  Taking  our  stand  at  Lilla  Cross  (Fig.  70)  we 
find  ourselves  once  more  with  the  wide  moorlands  outspread 
on  all  sides.  We  feel  the  Heather  and  peat  beneath  our 
feet ;  we  inhale  the  keen  upland  air  ;  the  calls  of  the  Grouse 
and  Curlew  fall  upon  our  ears — all  indispensable  elements  of 
the  scene  before  us.  On  every  side  dark  heather-clad 
swells,  crowned  with  ancient  tumuli,  rise  and  fall  like  waves 
of  the  sea.  In  the  south  towers  the  great  escarpment  of 
the  Tabular  Hills  at  Hackness,  Langdale,  Cross  Cliff,  and 
Saltersgate,  extending  eastwards  to  that  bold  spur  on  which 
the  Roman  legions  erected  their  camps. 

Eastwards  lie  the  stony  moors  between  Peak  and  the 
Symes  Valley.  Trenched  by  many  a  slack  of  glacial  age 
and  bordered  beyond  by  the  sea,  these  moors  fall  towards 
the  rocky  ravine  of  Jugger  Howe  Dale.  Little  of  this 
imposing  canon  can  be  made  out  from  Lilla  Cross  ;  but 
former  excursions  enable  us  to  picture  the  winding  slack 
with  its  boulder-strewn  tree-clad  slopes,  its  floor  carpeted 
with  sweet-scented  Gale,  and  its  extraordinary  tributary 
network  of  dry  valleys  near  Robin  Hood's  Bay.  The  moors 
between  our  standpoint  and  Jugger  Howe  Dale  are  traversed 
by  the  headwaters  of  the  Derwent  ;  that  remarkable  river 
which  no  longer  flows  to  the  ocean  along  its  original  course 
but  has  been  turned  aside  and  remains  a  witness  to  the 
influence  of  the  Great  Ice  Age. 

Turning  westwards  we  behold,  as  far  as  the  eye  can  see, 
ridge  after  ridge  radiating  from  the  watershed,  whilst  Newton 
Dale,  with  its  precipitous  crags,  lies  in  the  immediate  fore- 




Fi<;.  70. — Liu. a  Cross. 

[/.'.  W'ray. 


ground.  Beyond  the  distant  swell  of  Danby  Beacon 
proj ects  the  conical  summit  of  Roseberry  Topping.  I magina- 
tion  carries  us  thence  to  the  moorlands  of  North  Cleveland, 
thi  Hambletons,  and  the  western  valleys  of  Raisdale  and 

Such,  is  the  scene  presented  to  us  at  Lilla  Cross.  We 
might  have  taken  others  from  the  watershed  along  which 
extend  the  Mosses  ;  or  from  the  Tabular  Hills,  whence 
rise  the  purple  moors  like  a  great  wave  to  the  horizon  ;  or 
from  Black  Hambleton,  whence  we  look  eastwards  along 
the  bold  range  of  nabs  pushing  northwards  into  Black-a- 
more  ;  or  even  from  Danby  Beacon,  whence  we  can  behold 
the  northern  dales  in  all  their  beauty. 





WHEN  investigating  the  origin  of  the  moorland 
Lepidoptera,  I  prepared  two  tables  giving  a 
digest  of  all  the  principal  facts  regarding  the 
two  chief  groups  of  species,  those  living  upon 
Calluna  and  Erica,  and  those  living  on  Vacci- 
nium.  Thinking  that  these  tables  may  be  of  use  to  students 
of  entomology,  I  have  decided  to  publish  them  in  this 
appendix,  and  they  will  serve  not  only  for  future  reference 
but  can  also  be  used  to  test  the  conclusions  reached  in 
Chapter  XVI. 

Each  table  is  divided  into  seven  columns— the  first  column 
giving  the  name  ;  the  second,  the  distribution  ;  the  third, 
the  time  of  the  insect's  appearance  ;  the  fourth,  the  period 
of  the  larval  stage  ;  the  fifth,  the  chief  food  plant ;  the  sixth 
other  food  plants  ;  the  final  column  being  reserved  for  any 
noteworthyr  emarks.  I  have  also  included  in  these  tables 
Lepidoptera  subsisting  upon  the  Ericaceae  of  South  Europe, 
and  Lepidoptera  subsisting  upon  Vacciniutn  uliginosum  and 
oxycoccus.  My  principal  sources  of  information  have  been 
Spuler's  "  Schmetterlinge  Europas  "  and  Meyrick's  "  Hand- 
book of  British  Lepidoptera." 







Other  Food 



Rose,    Bramble, 

Spiraea  ulmifolia, 







Myrica  gale, 
Andromeda  poli- 








3   ni 

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Time  of 



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to  May. 


•— > 


Time  of 

April  to 


June  to 








Whole  of  Europe,  except 
Sardinia     and     Corsica 
?    (Spul.)  ;     north   and 
west    Ireland,    far    into 
Palaearctic  Asia, 

All  Europe,  except  Polar. 
Through  Asia  Minor  to 
Armenia,  and  in  Siberia. 


Scotland  and  Sweden,  as 
an  aberration  in  south 
German  Mountains. 

South-west  France  and 
northern  Portugal. 

South  France,  neighbour- 
ing parts  of  Italy  and 
south  Tyrol.  Central 

Sicily  and  Andalusia. 

Belgium,    Holland,    north 
Germany  southwards  to 
north  Saxony  and  Den- 
mark, in  Esthonia  and 
Livonia    and  in  Russia 
southwards  to  Charkow, 
and    south-easterly    to 
Pesth    and    Bukowina. 

South-east  Russia. 

In  central  Hungary,  south- 
wards to  Mehadia. 


■<  * 

*Quercus  L. 

V.  alpina  Frey. 
V.  callunce  Palm. 

V.  roboris  Schrk. 
V.  spartii  Hb. 

V.  sicula  Stgr. 


Ericce  Germ. 

V.  intermedia  Friv. 



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Reaches  an  altitui 
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navia    through    ce 
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5  «» 

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Time  of 



October  to 

September  to 

August  and 

Time  of 

July  to  mid- 






May,  June, 







Esthonia,    Livonia,    and 
Denmark     only     form  ; 
also  in   southern  Scan- 
dinavia,  England,   cen- 
tral and  south  Germany, 
Switzerland  ;     but    not 
occurring      over      wide 

In  west  Europe  to  Portu- 
gal, in  Italy  and  Austria- 
Hungary,     Alsace    and 

Britain,  Orkneys,  north 
and  east  Ireland,  Portu- 
gal, Bilbao,  France, 
Belgium,  Tarmus,  Al- 
sace, Finland,  Estho- 
nia, Lausitz. 

South  France,  in  north  as 


Aii   Britain   and   Ireland. 
In  non-polar  north  and 
central    Europe,    south 
France,    Spain,    north 
and  central  Italy. 

Central     Switzerland,     as 
aberration  in  Germany 
and  Andalusia. 


*Castanea  Esp. 
V.  neglecta  Hb. 

*  Agathina  Dup. 

V.  scoporicB  Miill. 
V.  hcbridicola  Stgr. 

*Myrtilli  L. 

V?   and   ab.  alpina 


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and  myrtillus 















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June  to 

April  and 





England,  Scotland,  Ire- 
land. All  north  Europe 
and  the  high  mountains 
of  central  Europe,  to  the 
south  Ural,  the  south- 
east Carpathians  and 
neighbouring  mountains, 
northern  Apennines,  the 
Pyrenees,  Greenland. 

Daurien  and  cast  Siberia. 

England,    Holland,    south 
Sweden,  Germany,  lower 
Austria,    Galicia,    Ples- 
kau,       Caucasus,       Ar- 
menia, Canary  Islands. 




O    cS 

fa '55 

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France,     Corsica,     Spain, 
Tuscany,     Algeria,     Is- 
land  of  Lessa  in   Dal- 

Central  and  north  Europe, 
north  Spain,  Italy,  Dal- 
matia,     south     France, 
central     Italy,    Castile, 
Shetlands,       Labrador, 


*  Interrogationis  L. 
Var.  transbaicalensis 


9  s 

.    « 



Callunce  Spr. 






•Nanata  Hb. 

V.  pauxillaria  B. 
V.  gelidata  Moschl. 





Only  in  heaJ  hy  loca- 
lities (Spuler). 


o  cj 

^  c 


and  other  plants. 

Lotus  comiculatus 


o     . 
O   to 


and  in  south 

on  Erica 

.2    ■ 

'C  s 





Time  of 







May  and 


Time  of 

May  and 








April  to 

July  and 







Kent    to     Somerset     and 
Sussex,     central    and 
south     Europe     except 
Sicily,     Denmark     and 




—  ■*-> 

.2  l— ' 

o<  5 

en   «» 
<»  cd 

cu  'to 

U      >H 

c,  0 

All  Europe  except  Anda- 
lusia   and    Sicily,    west 
Asia,  Siberia  to  Amur- 

South  Tyrol,  Istria,  Greece, 
Asia  Minor. 

Western  Thian-Schan  Pro- 

Sussex    to    Dorset,    War- 
wick,   Cheshire,    Arran, 
east  and  south  Ireland, 
Austria-Hungary,    west 
Germany,  Bavaria,  Swit- 
zerland,   France,    north 
and  central  Italy,  Greece 
and  west  Asia. 

Pyrenees  and  Spain. 


South  Scandinavia,   Den- 
mark, Gothland. 


Sicily,    Dalmatia,    central 
Italy  and  Amasia. 





to  « 

s  s 


*  Atomaria  L. 

V.  orientaria  Stgr. 
V.  iliaria  Alph. 

Ericetaria  Vill. 

V.  pyreneearia  Hb. 
V.  syriacaria  Stgr. 
V.  scandinavaria  Stgr 

V.  oliveirata  Mab. 
V.  pallidaria  Stgr. 



.a  a 

a  c 


O  u 

o  2 

















I        I        ■ 

,1  « « s 


•r    .♦"  *• 

5  _T  in   co 

s  g  £  <u 

s  o-^ 




C   3 

o  o 
s  » 

a    - 
2  3 

S  a    . 


T3      . 

g  cu- 
rt 3 






</i  - — - 
3  >> 

o  9 
co   > 


*   33 



O  rt 




co  T3   3 

q  3  a 

-I— (  +-> 

>>+,    3 

rt  oi  9) 

>4      V     U 

O   " 

«  1-1 
3   3 

P    3 






"3  t 

lH      O 





3  ,_ 
crj   t-. 


2   3 

s  s« 

rt  co 

-'3  rt 

iv      N  flj 

rt      0  I 

cd        O 
CO        CO 

rt  oj 









3   O 


«   A         S   3 

is  y  £  J;  5* 

o  ^  "S  £ i  rt 
Q  3  o 
^  Q  « 

2  tn  o 

co  O 

o  _™ 

3   to 

55  ftc  On.y 
R^  o  at  o  C 

bo    . 

2  k  j5 




I  CO 

J!  « 

■.*  ■»* 


w  » 








o  $}  3    • 

CO  +3,0 


W-O  rt  [T 

3       M 

rt  rt  ^ij3 

rt  "SiTI  -P 

CW-  3 










— 1 










(-1    ^ 


1    « 






*     ts 







On   moors.      Larva 

o  „> 





a.     ■ 





Ranunculus  acris 
Senecio  jacobaea, 

Chief  Food 





T3      . 
C   d 
d   C 

•r*  d 




d    • 

d  0 










Time  of 



September  to 


September  to 

July  to 

■*->    . 

d  as 

P    >TH 
1-1    1=5 







,  a 




Time  of 







May  to 


June  and 




September  to 

June,  July. 


Cumberland,  Perth  to  Ork- 
neys.     In  central  and 
north  Europe. 

In  central  Europe  to  Li- 
vonia (except  England), 
Italy  and  west  Asia. 

Britain  to   Kirkcudbright, 
east    Ireland  ;      central 
and  south  Europe,  north; 
and  west-central  Asia  to 
north  India,  north  Af- 

Great  Britain  and  Ireland, 
north  and  central  Eur- 
ope,    Catalonia,     north 
Italy,  Japan,  Asia  Minor 
North  America. 

South-west  Europe,  Italy 
and  Dalmatia. 

Great   Britain    (to    Ross), 
central  Europe,  Scandi- 

Britain  to  Caledonian  Ca- 
nal, east  and  west  Ire- 
land, all  Europe  except 
far  north,  North  Ameri- 






Argyrella  Schiff. 



2  | 






Porphyrella  Dup. 


<  ■*» 
pj  .** 




H    O 
PS  Qh 


Flies  round  Erica 
























ci  '3 




September  to 

June,  July, 

September  to 


July,  August. 






•— > 


•— > 

September  to 

1 — > 

April  to  June. 
July  to 


1— > 







1 — > 


1 — > 



Hereford     to     Shetlands, 
north  Ireland,  common. 
North  and  mountains  of 
central  Europe. 

Britain  to  Shetlands,  north 
Ireland,  north  and  cen- 
tral Europe,  Spain,  Italy 
Dalmatia,    south-east 

Britain     to     Sutherland, 
north     Ireland,     Italy, 
Russia,      central      and 
north  Europe. 

South   and   west   France, 
Sardinia,   Sicily,   Anda- 

England     to     Westmore- 
land,    central     Europe, 
north-west  Russia,  south 

Cheshire  to  Northumber- 
land, Holland  and  Ger- 

Britain  to  Shetlands,  Ire- 
land, Europe,  Asia  Minoi 



Unguicella  L. 



■i  3 


Ericinella  Dup. 


W    0 

0  5 


w  > 

w  » 






Larva;  live  in  long 
silken  galleries. 



Rumex  acetosa. 

O  +J 


Ml     W 










*— < 


re     . 

re  0 

Calluna  and 










Time  of 



September  to 

►— i 

September  to 

September  to 


*— * 


Time  of 

1— > 







>— > 

►— 1 

June,  July. 






Britain      to      Sutherland, 
north  Ireland,  west-cen- 
tral and  south-east  Eur- 
ope, north  Africa,  Mon- 

England   to   Cumberland, 
central  and  south-west 

Britain  to  Caledonian  Ca- 
nal, Holland,  Germany, 

England  to  Westmoreland, 
central    Europe,    north 
Asia  Minor,  south  Eur- 
ope, north-west  Russia, 
south  Norway. 

Hants,  anri  Dorset,  north 
and  north-central  Eur- 




O      "5 

^  * 

Incongruella  Z. 

Juncicolella  Stt. 





Variella  Stphs. 


c/l   0 

2  § 






and  arborea. 





»— « 











i — i 












Spain,  south  France,  Pied- 
mont, south  Tyrol,  Dal- 

North    Europe,    England, 
Germany,  Alps,  France, 
west  and  central  Italy, 
north  Asia  Minor. 


Insulella  Stgr. 

o  Si, 


VirgeUa  Thnbg. 


































A    clouded    yellow 

-  butterfly. 

On  peat  moors 
(Spuler).  In  very 
favourable  years 
double  brooded. 

Green  Hairstreak. 

Double    and    some- 
times          treble- 
brooded  (Spul.). 

On  peaty  moors 

(Spul.).  ■-■      ■ 
A  blue  butterfly. 

Other  Food 


Genista  tinctoria, 







Cornus  sanguinea, 


Sedum  palustre, 


Chief  Food 



in  parts  of 


Time  of 





3   3 


i — i 

Autumn  to 

Time  of 

Middle  of 
June  to 


r— « 

i— i 



June  to 


July  and 







Scandinavia  and  north 

Central  Europe  and  Livo- 
nia, sporadically  in  the 
Black  Forest. 

High  Mountains  of  Europe, 
south-eastwards  to  Bu- 

Whole    palaearctic    region 
north     Africa,     Japan, 
Britain  to  Ross,  Ireland. 

North  and  central  Europe, 
northern  Asia  to  the 

In  High  Mountains,  Lap- 
land and  north  Siberia. 




<»             "3 

i       w 

op           -5 

s  *:           -ft. 

w   ^  <fc              w 

2  «    • 


x  ^ 

<  * 

Optilete  Kn. 

V.  cyparissus  Hb. 


Especially     in     fir- 
woods  under  moss 
in    places    where 
V.  myrtillus  grows 

A  form  both  ericetal 
and  mountain. 











August  to 





i — i 

July  and 





Stafford  to  York.   Scandi- 
navia     and      Finland, 
through  central  Europe 
to  north  Italy  and  to 
Bukowina.      In  Asia  to 


North  and  central  Scandi- 
navia, from  Finland  to 
the  Carpathians  and  the 
Silesian  Mountains,  and 
on  the  High  Alps. 

Perthshire  to  the  Shet- 
lands,  on  mountains. 

Carnatian  Alps  and  Scot- 

Scandinavia,      Finland, 
and  Russian  Baltic  Pro- 
vinces, and  rarely  on  the 
mountains     of     central 
Germany  and  the  Alps  ; 
once  in  the  Siebenbiirgen. 


High  Alps. 

In  the  far  north,  from  the 
central    Scandinavian 
and  Finland  mountains. 

Norfolk    and    Worcester- 
shire   to    the    Orkneys, 
north  and  central  Eur- 
ope on  mountains  to  the 
Alps     and     Wallachian 
mountains,  south  Russia 
and  east  Asia. 

IlicifoUa  L. 

T*.  japonica  Leech. 


Hyperborea  Zett. 

V.  alpina  Hum.  and 

V   camica  Her. 


Speciosa  Hb. 

V.  CBgrota  Alph. 
V.  obscura  Frey. 
1".  arctica  Zett. 

a.  cs 

en   := 

W    C 






7  o 











rt  as 

r  J? 

li    TO 






6  ft)   -«> 

■S  .i  3  (i 

8 'la 






>   w 















.01    (« 


13  +J  ••+ 

s  5 
o  JS 

3   oj  g 

C    y    C 

>  o  < 



l-i  ' 



^2  «J  A 

C3  --*     03 

tn   in 
-— -  a>   u 

C    3   4> 

a*  a 

d  C  e 

g  J 

aj  >■>  o 

A  'CT3   g 

g    >     Oj  -M 

fQ   60  3   <u    05 

e^1  oi  >  rt 

oJ    -yj 


o  js  t3  g  .5 

O  60  Q  <D  "5 

^  c.52  c5- 

<"  Ui  bi  2  Jl  oi 

03   >, 

03    <U 

"J  a3 
3  > 


0)    r;   O 

■5b52..S  .2 

o  2  5 
a  £  < 



•< . 

os  ^ 


<  -=> 

<o    C 


-2  « 

03   o 



Transitional    form 
being     found     on 
moors   and   on 








•m    3 

O  rt 
*j  > 





vitis-ida  <i 



May  and 


July  and 

Autumn  to 

August  and 





July  and 

Devon,    Hants.,   Warwick 
north    to     Ross,     from 
Lapland  south  in  north 
and  central  Europe  ex- 
cept Belgium  and  cen- 
tral   France,    through 
cast  Europe  to  Urals,  in 
the     Altai,     Amurland, 
and  North  America,  es- 
pecially on  mountains. 

Occurs  as  variety  at  Can- 
nock   Chase,    elsewhere 
in  Britain  as  aberration. 
Black    Forest,     French 
Jura,    north    Germany, 
Esthonia,  widely  spread 
in  north. 

Forfarshire  to  Caledonian 
Canal,  north,  central  and 
east    Europe    to    Urals 
and     Balkans,     in     the 
south    of    the    area   on 
moors    in    high    moun- 
tains,    Aragon,     Amur, 

Mountains  of  central  Scan- 
dinavia, polar  Scandina- 
via, north  Finland,  all 
north  Asia,  Dauricn, 
Apfel  Mountains,  Amur- 
land,  North  Asia. 




n            \ 

►j  in                                ~ 



Cordigera  Thnh^. 


Dinsema  B. 

V.  borea  Auriv. 








Where    Bilberry 
grows  (Spuler). 



Li,  +j 






In  north  on 
Willow  and 




fa   3 












Time  of 



August  to 

July  and 



i — > 


May  and 


Time  of 




i — > 

May  and 


1 — > 

i — i 









South  England  to  Suffolk 
and    Merionethshire, 
south  Scandinavia  and 
south  Finland   through 
north  and  central  Eur- 
ope   to    central    Italy, 

Central  and  north  Europe, 
north  Italy,  south  Rus- 
sia, and  Armenia. 

Warwick     and     Stafford- 
shire to  Shetlands,  Alps, 
north     Germany,     Hol- 
land and  north  Europe, 
Polar  Europe  and  Asia, 

Central  and  north  Europe, 
north  and  central  Italy, 
Ural,  Siberia  and  north 
America,  Great  Britain 
and  Ireland. 

From  Musau  Alp. 

East  Alps  (Austria)  and  a 
variety  in  the  Pyrenees. 





<  e 

w  5 
►J  s 



Pahidata  Thnbg. 

fa          s 

5         1 

S  "§•             . 

^        fa 




<  .3 




Shady   places   in 
woods  (Spuler). 














3  « 









'    3 


September  to 




' — > 



i — i 



June  and 


June  to 






— > 

Scandinavia     and     north 
Russia,  the  mountains  of 
Germany  and  Hungary, 
the  Alps,  eastern  Siberia 
and  Labrador. 

Lower  Austria  and  Carin- 
thian  Alps. 

Devon,  Gloucester,  Wales, 
north     England,     Scot- 
land,    Shetlands,     Ire- 
land,    north     Europe, 
German  and  Hungarian 
mountains,  Alps,  north- 
west   Asia    and    North 

Alps,    Lapland,    Iceland. 

Alps,   Shetlands,    Iceland, 


Central     Europe,     south- 
north  Europe,  Urals. 

North  Europe,  Alps,  north 
Germany,  Bohemia,  Ma- 
hren,  lower  Austria,  Si- 
beria to  Japan. 

Tn  central  Europe  to  south 
Scandinavia,           north 
Spain,  north  Italy,  south 
Russia,  Armenia  to  Ja- 
pan,  south  England  to 
Stafford  and  Cambridge. 


Incursata  Hb. 

V.  monticolaria  U.S. 

*(Sasiata  Lang. 

Ab.  annosata  Zett. 
Ab.  glaciata  Germ. 

Ab.  gelata  Stgr. 


tn  e 

a  .o 

o  "» 



— ' 









On     peaty     moors 

In  light  clearings  of 
woods    with    Bil- 
berry under- 
growth (Spuler). 







Draba  and  other 
.    low  plants. 


*  2 

re  £ 

t/5  re 

Orobus  niger. 

o    . 
O   <n 















(dark  form) . 


Time  of 







►— » 

•— > 

i— > 





Time  of 



i — > 

April  and 


May  and 




►— > 

May,  June. 













.  3 
co  re 



»3   3 

.Sf  ro 

York  to  Ross,  north  Eur- 
ope,   Swiss    Alps,    Rie- 
sengebirge    and    north- 
east Siberia. 

Perth     to     Ross,     North 
America,     central     and 
north  Europe,  Pyrenees, 
north  Italy,  south  Rus- 
sia, Altai  to  Japan. 

Britain  to  Orkneys,    Ire- 
land, north  and  central 
Europe,  north  Asia,  Ja- 
pan, North  America. 

Britain  to  Sutherland, 
scarce  in  south,  Ireland, 
north  Europe,  hilly  loca- 
lities in  central  Europe, 
Pyrenees,  Alps,  Carpa- 
thians, Urals. 

;  Bavarian  Alps. 

i  North  Sweden  and  Fin- 






Q  <-> 


Brunneata  Thnbg. 

en  -k 

W  -5 

H    B 
W  ^3 

03    ^ 


*Fumata  Stphs. 

V.  simplaria  Frr. 
V.  perfumata  Reuter. 

In  damp  woods  and 
on  morasses 


Boggy  pla<  1 










Pyrus  malus, 









G  "V 







i— > 


1 1 



April  to 


April  and 


»— > 



• — > 

i — i 

5  ^ 

(/:   O 

3  -f-* 


August  to 

June,  July, 
Sept. -April. 

July  and 


May,  June, 












Germany,        Switzerland, 
Hungary  and  north  .Eur- 
ope, local  and  rare. 

Lancashire  to  Ross,  north 
Ireland,    north   Europe, 
northern  Germany,  Bo- 
hemia,   Iceland,    North 

Lancashire,  Westmoreland, 
Berth,    Aberdeen,    cen- 
tral Europe  (except  Hol- 
land), west  Russia,  upper 
Italy,  Castile. 






c  G 
G  < 

P   1-. 


C  A 

Silesian    Mountains,    Fin- 
land,     Norway,      Lap- 

West  Europe  (except  Hol- 
land),     lower     Austria, 
Styria,  Salzburg,  upper 

Vacciniella  Z. 






<  S 

P   V 

«  z; 

•  5 

3 1 














Bifasciana  Hb. 













i— i 

In  moory  localities 
(Spul.).    Common 
northwards       on 
moors  (Meyrick). 


til  +-> 


Andr.  polifolium, 




Gentiana  amarella 



Between  needles 

Pinus  sylvestris. 


to  b 



V.  uliginosum 









Time  of 



i — i 


May  and 


July  and 

August  and 

March  to 


Time  of 

"— ) 

July  and 

May  and 




| — i 











Britain  to  the  Caledonian 
Canal,    Ireland,    central 
and  north  Europe,  north 
Spain,  upper  Italy,  Dal- 

Alps,  Silesia,  Siebenbiirgen, 

Britain  to  Shetlands,    Ire- 
land, north  and  central 
Europe  to  central  Italy, 
Corsica,  Asia  Minor. 

Kent  to  Hampshire,  Ches- 
hire to  York,  Perth  to 
Sutherland,    south   Ire- 
land, central  and  north 
Germany,  Livonia,  Scan- 
dinavia, the  Alps,  upper 
Italy,  Holland. 

Surrey,  Hants.,  Stafford  to 
Shetlands,     north     and 
east  Ireland,  Alps,  Ger- 
many,    Holland,     west 
Russia,    Scandinavia, 













U  " 

o  ■«• 
«  a 











Also  probably  on 
other  low  plants. 

Ledum  palustre, 

Erica  carnea 
I  'yrus, 
Holly  and 





feeds  on 





April  and 



| — i 





►— > 


*— < 






April  to  June 



June  to 






i — i 






i — i 


i— > 


|— > 








Germany,    Alps,    Galicia, 
Holland,  north-east  Eur- 

Germany,  Perth,  Jutland, 
Switzerland,        Galicia, 
Russia,  Scandinavia,  Si- 

England,    Aberdeen,    east 
Ireland,  north  and  cen- 
tral Europe. 

Britain    to    Clyde,    north 
and  east  Ireland,  north 
and      central     Europe, 
north  Spain,  upper  and 
central  Italy. 

Britain  to  Orkneys,  north 
and  east  Ireland,  north 
and      central      Europe, 
mountains  of  Piedmont. 

.Merioneth,  York  to  Ross, 
north  Europe  and  north- 
ern -central  Europe. 

Hereford    to   Perth,    Ger- 
many .Switzerland,  Bel- 
gium, Sweden. 






<  ~ 

y.  z 

o  z 

7.   « 

< .  ■ 




^K  s 

H  « •« 

O   =  =: 
a  ~  £ 

£.«  • 


V)  ^ 







Myrtillela  Stt. 



Other  Food 


Chief  Food 

3  a 


>  > 

3   W 


>  > 









S   <8 

3    >- 


O   en 





Time  of 




April,  May, 

April  and 


July  to 


July  to 


September  to 

August  to 

Time  of 



I— i 




i — i 


i — > 




I — > 


►— i 



1— 1 

June,  July. 

i — > 


i— t 



i— i 




Pembroke,  York  to  Perth, 
central    Europe,    north 
German  and  south  Ger- 
man   Mountains,    Alps, 
Holland,    Sweden,    and 
north-west  Russia. 

Cheshire  to  Caledonian  Ca- 
nal,  north   and   central 

Finland,       Scandinavia, 
Germany,  Holland,  north 
Spain,  the  Alps. 


















3     . 

a  s 


Norway,     Livonia,     Eng- 
land, German  Alps. 

Cheshire,  Lancashire,  north 
and      central     Europe, 
south  French  Alps. 

Scandinavia,  central  Eur- 
ope, north  Spain,  north 
and  central  Italy,  Dal- 
matia,   south-east   Rus- 
sia, Caucasus. 




Junoniella  Z. 


Infernalis  H.  S. 


Uliginosella  Flek. 


.  o 


w  Js 




<  « 

o  ■» 


ft  s 

o  ^ 
w  « 




o  <s 

ft        ^ 


►J     O 



Vitisella  Gregs. 


Oehlmanniella  Tr. 




Acidalia  fumata,  279,   294 
Acronycta  menyanthidis,  279,  286 
Adaptations    of    moorland    plants, 

Agrostis  canina,  see  Brown  Bent. 
Agrotis  agathina,  277,  280,  287,  292 

—       strigula,  280,  287,  292 
Aira  ccespitosa,  75 

—  flexuosa,    see     Hair     Grass, 


—  prcBcox,  see  Hair  Grass,  Early. 
Alaska,  vegetation  of,  172 
Alchemilla  vulgaris,    173 

Algae,   on  bare  ground,   53 

Allerston  High  Moor,  5,  29  ;  vege- 
tation of,  67  ;  Kella- 
ways  Rock  on,  193 
Low  Moor,  30  ;  peat  on, 
69 ;  LowerCalcareous 
Grit  on,  194 

Alpine  Pearl  wort,  175,  176 

Ampleforth  Moor,   195 

Anarta  myrtilli,  278,  287,  nj^, 

Andromeda,    154 

Anemone,  no 

Animal  Life,  see  Birds,  Fauna,  In- 

Ann  Cross  Howe,  15 

Antennaria  dioica   173 

Anthoxantkum  odoralum,  75,  94, 

Anticline,  moorland,  199,  204,  215 

Ants,  distribution  of  seeds  by,  72-3  ; 
on  moors,  267 

Ant,  Solitary,  occurrence  of,  268  ; 
distribution,  2(19  ;  history  of, 
270,  272 

Aphodius  fastens,   275 

—         lapponum,    275 

Arctic  Plants,  97  ;  in  Devonshire, 
166;  rarity  on  moors,  174  ;  on 
moors,  175-6 

Arctostaphylos  itva-ursi,  see  Bear- 

Arden  Great  Moor,  4  ;  vegetation  of, 
85  ;  peat  on,  85,  131  ;  Kella- 
ways  Rock  at  foot  of,  193 

Arion  ater,  266 

Arnsgill,  30 

Affiliates  stririllaria,  288,  293 

Associations,  faunal,   249 
insect,  284 

Atkinson,  Canon,  on  ancient  earth- 
works, 18  ;  on  Bow  Bridges, 
19  ;  on  pit-dwellings,  25  ;  on 
word  "  grain,"  29  ;  on  word 
"  moor,"  31  ;  on  former  woods, 

Atmospheric  pot-holes,  183 

Atomaria  gibbida,  a  beetle  in  Grouse 
droppings,  263 

Attfield,  Professor,  analysis  of  water 
from  Egton  High  Moor,  52 

Bacteria,  their  rarity  on  moors,  56 

Bajocian  stage,  185  ;  flora,  188-9  ; 
erosion  of  strata,   204 

Baker,  J.  G.,  "North  Yorkshire,"  b  ; 
on  Cranberry,  84  ;  on  Bear- 
berry,    175 

Baltic  Coast,  Oo 

Barnaby  Moor,  Estuarine  series  on, 

BaiTOW,   George,   on  pit  dwellings, 
25,    27  ;     on    Kellaways   Rock 
moor,     67  ;      on    faults     near 
Freeborough  Hill,  241 
Barry,   J.  W.,  on  influence  of  sea- 
winds,  132  ;   on  Scots  Pine,  132 
Baysdale,   4  ;      Crowberry  in,    43  ; 
Cowberry    in,     103  ; 
trees  in,  105  ;   woods 
in,  125,  146,183,  186; 
origin,      215  ;       dry 
valley  in,  221  ;  form 
of,  221 
Moor,    183 
Bearberry,     geological    age,     151  ; 
glacial  survival,  169  ;  on  moors 
175  ;    distribution,  175 
Bedstraw,  Heath,  in 
Beetles,  39,  273-275,  303 
i  Uheaded  valleys,    236 
Bella  Dale  Slack,   41 
Bell  Heath,  see  Erica  cinerea   and 

Dembidium  manner heimi,  J74 

—  nigricorne,   274 

Betula    alba,    see    Birch. 
—     nana,    u><\    [68 



Bewick,  Joseph,  7  ;  on  pit  dwell- 
ings,  25 

Bilberry,  39,  40  ;  on  swiddens,  46  ; 
on  thin  moors,  68  ;  on  Cock 
Heads,  95  ;  on  slopes,  108,  109, 
no,  in,  112;  moor,  no;  large 
growth  of,  125  ;  geological  age, 
151 ;  distribution  of,  158 

Biller  Howe  Dale,  121,  147 

Bilsdale,  4,  190 ;  origin,  215  ;  a 
beheaded  valley,  236 

Birch,  on  moors,  50  ;  in  peat,  78, 
83,  96,  123  ;  on  Eston  Hills, 
124  ;  in  Rosedale,  124 ;  on 
Harwood  Dale  Moor,  132  ;  geo- 
logical  age,    152 

Birch-oak  scrub  or  wood,  119,  123 

—  dwarf,    166 

Bird-life,  252-265  ;  paucity  of,  265 
Birk  Nab,  4  ;    moor  at,  69,  193 
Black-a-more,   12,  32,  33 
Black  Dyke  Moor,  20,   130 

—  Hambleton,  3,  4  ;    moor  on, 

43  ;  scrub  and  Bracken 
on,  106 ;  Bilberry  on, 
in  ;     Kellaways    Rock 

at,  193,  239 
Blakeborough,  J.  Fairfax,  on  moor- 
land  foxes,    250 
Blakey,    Gill,   130 

—  Moor,  25 

—  Ridge,  88 

—  Topping,    79,    182  ;    out- 

lier of  Lower  Calcar- 
eous Grit,  194  ;  ori- 
gin, 207 

Black  Rigg,  122 

Blea  Hill  Rigg,  211 

—  Wyke,    7 

Blechnum  spicant,  see  Fern,  Hard. 
Bloody  Beck,  122  ;    origin  of,  226  ; 

waterfall  in,  226  ;   peculiarities 

of,  227 
Bloworth  Crossing,  209 
Blue  Bell  Trough,  232 
Blue  Man  in  the  Moss,  19 
Bluewath   Gill,    peat   at,   83,   130 ; 

coal  in,  187  ;  pebbles  at,  201 
Boar,  Wild,  30 
Bog,  Asphodel,  90,  161 

—  formation  in  slacks,  127-8 

—  Mire  Gill,   187 

—  -moss,   see  Sphagnum. 

Bogs,  see  Mosses,  Peat  and  Sphag- 

Boltby  Moor,   196 

Bombyx  rubi,  see  Moth,  Fox. 

Boonhill,  4,  69,  193 

Boulby  Alum  Quarries,  53 

Boulders,  sandstone,  182-3  >  fossil 
plants  on,  188 

Boundaries  of  moors  determined  by 
drift,  179 ;  determined  by 
calcareous  strata,    196 

Bow  Bridges,   19 

Bracken  Howe,    15 

—  on  swiddens,  46  ;    on  thin 

moors,  70 ;  chief 
plant  on  slopes,  102  ; 
in  woods,  102,  106 ; 
habitats  of,  107  ;  his- 
tory of,  177  ;  lepid- 
opetra  on,  285,  287 

Bradycellus,  274,  275,  303 

Bransdale,  4,  186 ;  origin,  215  ; 
outlier  in,  224 

Bride  Stones,    194 

Brocka  Beck,  122 

Bronze  Age,  15,  23 

Brow  Moor,  2 

Brown  Bent,  on  swiddens,  46  ;  on 
shale  heaps,  54;  dis- 
tribution,   161 

—  Howe,    148 

Rigg,    121,    147  ;     Solitary 
Ant  on,  268 
Broxa,    30 

Burkill,  H.  J.,  on  Dwarf  Cornel,  175 
Burning  the  moor,  effects  of,  33-4, 

Burton  Head,  2,  209 

—  Howe,    15,    191 
Buscoe  Beck,  223 

Butler  Beck,  same  as  Egton  Grange 

which  see. 
Buttercup,  173 
Butterflies,     visiting    moors,     280, 

295  ;  scarcity  of,  on  moors,  283 
Butterfly,   Green  Hairstreak,    279, 
283,  286,  287,  295,  303 

—  Large  Heath,  281, 283, 287 

—  Small  Copper,   281 
Small  Heath,  279, 283, 287 

Butterwort,  glacial  survival,  169 

Calcareous  Grit,  Lower,  effect  of 
rain  on,  53  ;  192  ;  on  summit 
of  Tabular  Hills,  193-4  :  moors 
on,  193-4  ;  on  the  Hambletons, 



Calcareous  Grit,   Middle,   192 

—         Grit,  Upper  192 
Calluna-Nardus  moor,  65 
Calluna  vulgaris,  see  Heather. 

—  vulgaris  v.  incana,  in  Esk- 

dale,    104 
Camden's  "  Britannia,"  12 
Cantmbina  flavirostris,  see  Twite. 
Carabus  arvensis,  273 

—  nitens,  273,  277 
Carex,    42,    120 

—  glauca,    94 

—  pauciflora,   on   moors,    175, 

Carlton  Bank,  184,  231 

—  Moor,     partly     on     Lower 

Limestone,     195 
Carrs,  Kildale,  66,  92,  93-4 
Castle  Hill  Oxbow,  143-4 
Castleton,  33,  71 

—  Rigg,  hill  on,  186  ;    land- 
slips on,  220 

Causeways,    17,    19 

Cawthorn,  Roman  camps  at,  17 

Celcena  haworthii,  282,  289 

Centipedes,  39 

Ceratodon  purpureus,  on   swiddens, 

Ceuthorrhynchus  erica,   275,   282 

Char&as  graminis,   281 

Chalk,  formerly  over  the  moorlands, 
199-200  ;    erosion  of,  204 

Charlton,  L.,  7 

Charter  of  Whitby  Abbey,  6 

Cheese  Stones,   183,   185 

Chequers  Inn,  29,  33,  76,  132 

Church  Houses,   16 

Cicindela   campestris,    273 

Cidaria  populata,  281,   294 

Cinder  Hills,  26,  131,  186 

Cladium    mariscus,    89 

Cladinia  sylvatica,  see  Reindeer 

Cladonia,  abundant  on  swiddens, 
45  ;  element  in  moor  develop- 
ment, 45  ;  on  thin  moors,  68  ; 
in  Greenland,  169;  glacial 
survival,  169 

Cleveland  Hills,  3  ;  vegetation 
on,  108-9  ;  barrier  to  ice- 
sheets,  137,  237  ;  lower  Estu- 
arineson,  185  ;  aspects  of,  229  ; 
strata  of  233,  origin  of,  236-7  ; 
Ice  Age  on,  238 

Climate  in  Bajocian  times,  189 

Climate  on  moors,  5S-61 

Clinch,  Mr.,  on  age  of  pit  dwellings, 

Cloantha  solidaginis,  281,  294,  305, 

Cloudberry,   169 
Cloughton,    4,    179 
Clough  Gill,  219,  222 
Club  Moss,   Fir,    169 

—  Interrupted,    169 

—  Rush,     Tufted,     see     Scirpus 

Coal,  moor,    1S7-8 

—  pits,  187 

—  Ridge,    30 
Cochlearia  officinalis,  173 
Cockan  Ridge,  28 

Cock  Heads,  2  ;   peat  at,  82,  190 

Cockshaw  Hill,  72 

Codrington,    Mr.,    on    the    Roman 

Road,   17 
Coenonympha  davits,  281,  283,  287 

—  pamphilus,    279,    283, 

Coldman  Hargos,  28 
Cold   Kirby,   195 

—  Moor,  109,  231 

Cole,   Rev.  E.  Maule,  on  wold  en- 
trenchments,   18  ;     on    moors 
in  the  vale  of  York,  180 
Collier,  Gill,   30,  96,   187 

—     Lane,  30 
Cols   of    the    Cleveland    Hills,    be- 
headed valleys,  236 
Commondale,   7,    106 

Moor,  fossiliferous  grit 
on,      190,     moor 
grit  on,  191 
Convexity  of  Peat  Bogs,  90-2 
Coomb  Hill,  208 
Corallian  Rocks,  192,  199,  204 
Coral  Rag,  192 
Cornbrash,    112,    192 
Cornel,  Dwarf,  geological  age,  151  ; 
glacial  survival,  169;  on  moors, 
175  ;    distribution,  175 
Comus  suecica,  151,   169 
Cotton  Grass,  lepidoptera  on,  285, 
Moors,    37,    83,    S_f, 

116,  119 
see    Eriophoruni. 
Cowberry,  on  slopes,   103,   116 ;    in 
Hograh,    125  ;     geological  age, 
151  ;    distribution  of,   158  ;    in 



Greenland,  169 ;  glacial  sur- 
vival, 169 

Cowesby  Moor,  196 

Cowgate  Slack,  Birch  in,  123,  132  ; 
overflow  channel,  147 

Cow- wheat,   111 

Cranberry,  84,  90  ;  geological  age, 
151;  glacial  survival,  169 

Cranimoor,    109,   231 

Cratcegus  oxyacantha,  see  Haw- 

Cropton  Moor,  vegetation  of,  43  ; 
Kellaways  Rock  on,  211 

Cross  Cliff,    175,   208 

Crosses,  moorland,  22 

Crowberry,  40,  43  ;  leaves  of,  62  ; 
on  thin  moors,  68  ;  on  swidden, 
70  ;  in  Birch  wood,  124  ;  geo- 
logical age,  152  ;  distribution 
of,  159  ;  origin,  160  ;  in  Green- 
land, 169,  173-4 ;  glacial  sur- 
vival, 169 

"  Crow-stone,"  39 

Crunkley  Gill,  139 

Cup  Lichens,  68 

Curlew,  253 

Cycads,  fossil,  188 

Cymatophora  flavicovnis,  276 

Daddy  Long-Legs,  amongst  Cotton 

Grass,   281 
Dalby  Warren,  4  ;    zones  of  vege- 
tation on,    107-8  ;     on  Middle 
Calcareous  Grit,  195  ;    rabbits 
on,    250 
Dales,  ice-free,  136  ;    origin  of,  213 
et  seq.  ;    streams,  history 
of,  214  ;    due  to  dip  of 
rocks,     215  ;      between 
Thornton  Dale  and  East 
Ayton,  218  ;    erosion  of, 
219-20;    forms  of,  220; 
peculiarities    of    220-6 ; 
cutting    back    of,    226 ; 
see  also  under  name  of 

—  branch,    in   Thornton    Dale, 

Danby  Beacon,  41,  137,  187  ;  Kell- 
aways Rock  at,  210 

—  Crag,   vegetation  at,   109-10 

—  Dale,    4,    146,    187  ;     origin, 

215,  222 

—  High  Moor,  30 

—  Low  Moor,  19,  30,  65,  191 

Danby    Ridge,  vegetation   of,    70 ; 

hill  on,  186 
Dandelion,  173 

Darwin  on  action  of  earthworms,  55 
Davis,   Prof.   W.   M.,   on  origin  of 

moorland  plateau,  201. 
Derwent,   River,  2,  5,  7,   146,   198, 

208,  226 
Dicvanum  scoparium,  72,   no 
Dip  of  rocks,  198,  199,  205,  221 
Dispersal,  means  of,   156 
Dogger,  the,  184,  185 
Dog  Howe,  23 
Drayton,  33 
Driftless  area,  136  ;   flora  of  during 

Ice  Age,  166  et  seq. 
Dyosera  rotundifolia,  see  Sundew. 
Drought,  physiological,  62,   170 
Dung-beetles,  275 
Dyke,    Cleveland    and    courses    of 

rivers,  205 

Eagle,  30 
Earthworks,   17-18 
Earthworms,  absent  from  moors,  55 
Easby  Moor,  vegetation  of,  71 
Easington  High  Moor,  vegetation  of, 

41,  120,  130  ;  moraine  on,  136  ; 

drift  on,  179  ;   Kellaways  Rock 

on,  193,  210 
Easterside   Hill,   Lower  Calcareous 

Grit  on,  194  ;  origin,  207 
Ebberston  High  Moor,  5,  273 
Egton  Bridge,   143,   146 

—  Grange  (Butler  Beck  Valley), 

4,  140,  141,  143,  215 

—  High  Moor,  2,  5,  191 

—  Low  Moor,  190,  191 

—  moors  near,  197 

Eller  Beck,  79,  in,  112,  122,  142, 
145,    186 

—  Beck  Bed,  186 
Elm  Ledge,  67,  210 
Elymus   arenarius,    172 
Empetyum  nigrum,  see  Crowberry. 
Eocene  flora,  153 

Epilobium  angustifolium,   173 
Equisetites  columnaris,  189 
Equisetum  arvsnse,  172 

—         sylvaticum,    1 72 
Erica  avborea,  162 

—  Bruchmanni,  154 

—  ciliaris,  162 

—  cinerea,    on    swiddens,     46 ; 

leaves  of,  62  ;    on  thin 





moors,  68  ;    distribution 

of,    159 

Erica  deleta,  154 

—  distribution  of,   162  ;    origin 

of,    164,     not   a 
survival,   173 

—  tnediterranea  {cornea) 

—  multiflora,  162 

—  nitidula,   154 

—  tetralix,  39  ;  on  swiddens,  46; 

leaves  of,  62  ;  on  thin 
moors,  65  -  66  ;  on 
Mosses,  78  ;  dominant 
on  May  Moss,  79  ;  in 
slacks,  118  ;  distribu- 
tion of,  159 

—  vagans,  162 
Ericophyllum  ternatuvi,  155 
Eriophoreta  vaginati,  119 
Eriophorum     angustifolium,    leaves 

of,  63  ;  in  old 
peat  holes,  88  ;  in 
slacks,  118  ;  geo- 
logical age,  152  ; 
distribution  of, 
159  ;  origin,  160  ; 
in  Greenland,  169  ; 
glacial  survival, 
—  vaginatum,      39,      41  ; 

leaves  of,  63  ;    on 
thin    moors,    66 ; 
on  Mosses,  78,  79, 
81,  82,  83,  S4,  85  ; 
in      slacks,      118  ; 
geological  age,  152; 
distribution        of, 
159  ;    origin,  160 
Erosion,  base  level  of,  204 
Erratics,  glacial,  135-6-7 
Eskdale,  3,  137,  139,  140,  199,  215 
Esklets,  187  ;    origin,  222 
Esk,  River,  2,  16,  146,  205 
Eston    Hills,    71,    106,    124,    235  ; 
strata  of,  243  ;   origin  of,  244  ; 
faulted,  244 
Eston   Moor,    most   northerly,    43  ; 
Crowberry  on,   43,   71  ;     Birch 
on,  124  ;    Estuarine  Series  on, 
185  ;    fossiliferous  grit  on,  191 
Estuarine  Series,    Lower,     185-189, 
198,   ig<) 

Series,   Middle,    185 
— ■         Series,  Upper,  185,  191-2, 
198,   209 

Eubolia  palumbaria,  279 

Eupethecia  nanata,  279,  302,  303 

Evolution  of  moors,  308 

Ewe  Crag  Slack,  Bracken  in,  104, 
115,  116;  peat  in,  116;  vege- 
tation of,  116-11S  ;  bog  form- 
ation in,  128 ;  as  overflow- 
channel,  137-8,  148 

Falco  cssalon,  see  Merlin. 
Falcon  Inn,  33,  78,  147 
Falling  Foss,  147 

Fat  moors,   38-44  ;    plant  associa- 
tions of,  46 
Farndale,  4,  122,  180,  1S7,;    origin, 
215  ;    trend  of,  220 
Head,  130 
Moor,  2 
Faults,  effects  of,  221,  241,  242,  244 
Fauna,  moorland,  problems  of,  247  ; 

pre-glacial  origin  of,  248 
Fen  Bogs,    13,    119,    123  ;     glacier- 
lake  overflow,  145 

—  vegetation,  88-9,  1 19-20 
Ferns,  fossil,  188 

Fern,  Hard,  no,  116 

Festuca  ovina,  see  Fescue  Grass. 

Fescue  Grass,  Sheep's,  on  swiddens, 
46  ;  on  shale  heaps,  54  ;  dis- 
tribution, 161  ;  in  Greenland, 
169  ;  glacial  survival,  169 

Fires  on  moors,  34 

Flamborough      Rigg,      Kellaways 
Rock  on,    193 

Flask   Inn,    147, 

Flat   Howe,   15,  23 

—  Howe  Peat  Holes,  83 

Flint    on    moors,    200-1  ;     derived 

from  chalk,  203,  212 
Flora,     moorland,     originated     in 

Pliocene  period,  155-6;  during 

Ice  Age,    166  et  s&j.  ;     bis1 

of,  1 80- 1 
Flying  Bent,  see  Molinia. 
Fordham,  Dr.  J.  \\\,  268 
Forcstian  period  in  North-Eastern 

Yorkshire,  127 
Forest  of  Danby,  31 

—     of  Pickering,  31 
Forge  Valley,  140 
Formica  fusca,  267 
—       rufa,    2(>7 
Fossiliferous    grit,    [89-191  ;      1  .8  ; 

outliers,  209 
Foster    Howes,    15 



Fox,  moorland,  250 

Fox  -  Strangways,  C,  "Jurassic 
Rocks  of  Yorkshire,"  8  ;  on 
pit-dwellings,  25  ;  on  power  of 
wind,  58  ;  on  vegetation  of 
Dalby  Warren,  107-8,  195  ;  on 
post- Jurassic  denudation,  200  ; 
on  origin  of  moorland  plateau, 
200 ;  on  rivers  breaking 
through  Tabular  Hills,  207  ; 
on  "  knolls  "  of  Kellaways 
Rock,  209  ;  on  origin  of 
dales,  214  ;    on  Lake  Gormire, 

Frankland,    H.,    analysis    of    pan, 

Freeborough  Hill,  75,  182,  199,  210  ; 

formation  of,  241-3 
Fry,  Sir  E.,  on  convexity  of  peat 

bogs,  91. 
Fryup  Gap,  origin  of,  223  ;   Round 
Hill  in,  224 

—  Great,  4,   187  ;    origin,  215  ; 
landslips  in,  220 

—  Little,  4  ;    Bilberry  moor  in, 
no;  origin,  215 

Furze,  see  Gorse, 
Fylingdales  Moor,  2,  5,  42,  191 

Gale  Field,  92,  93,  122 

Galium  saxatile,  see  Bedstraw, 

Geikie,  Sir  Archibald,  on  local  gla- 
ciation,  136  ;  on  erosion  of 
dales,  213 

Geikie,  J.,  on  climatic  changes  in 
post-glacial  times,  126  ;  on 
inter-glacial    periods,     1 78 

Geographical  distribution,  princi- 
ples of,   156,   248-9 

Geological  Survey,  8,  123,  191,  194 

Geology  of  moors,  134-149,  182-245 

Gillamoor,    Kellaways    Rock   near, 


Gills,  woods  in,   124,   125-6 

Gingko  biloba,   189 
—     digit ata,  189 

Girrick  Moor,  120  ;  Kellaways 
Rock  on,   210 

Glaciation  of  North-Eastern  York- 
shire,   135 

Glacial  deposits  generally  absent 
from  moors,  135  ;  on  Lock- 
wood  Hills,  136 ;  on  Eas- 
ington    High   Moor,    136;     on 

Seamer  Moor,  136  ;  determine 
moor  edge,  1 79 ;  moors  on, 
179-180  ;  at  foot  of  Cleveland 
Hills,   238 

Glacial  survivals,  169-173,  302-4 

Glacier-lakes,    138-9 

Glaciers  in  dales,  135 

Glaisdale,  3,  4,  140,  141,  146,  186, 
187,  190  ;    origin  of,  215 

Glaisdale  Moor,  2 

—  Rigg,  46  ;    hill  on,  186 

—  Swangs,   28 
Goathland,   12,  33,  42,   122 

—  Dale,  4,   115  ;    (see  also 

Murk   Esk    Valley). 

—  Moor,   2,   5,    13 
Golden  Plover,  253 
Good  Goose  Thorn,  19 

Gorse,  on  thin  moors,  70-2  ;  dis- 
tribution by  ants,  72-3  ;  on 
peat  bogs,  94  ;  on  slopes, 
108,  109 

"  Gouldens,"    34,    55 

Graebner,  Dr.  P.,  on  Cladonia,  45  ; 
on  moorland  soils,  51  ;  on 
binding  action  of  mosses,  54  ; 
on  formation  of  pan,  57  ;  on 
heaths  of  North  Germany, 
59-60  ;  on  development  of 
Mosses,  96-7 

Grain,  word,  29 
—     Beck,  29,  in,  219 

Grasses,  leaves  of  moorland,  63 

Grass  Moors,  37,  70-2 

Great  Ayton  Moor,  24  ;  swiddens 
on,  45  ;  vegetation  of,  68  ; 
lower  Estuarines  on,  185,  210 

Green  Dyke,  7 

Greenhow  Botton,  230,  232,  235 

Greenland,  Miocene  flora  of,  160  ; 
flora  of,  168  ;  moorland  plants 
in,  169-70  ;  plant  life  in,  171-2  ; 
moorland  insects  in,   302-3 

Grey  Hall  Stone,  19 

—  Limestone    Series,     26,     185, 

189-191,   199 

—  Stones,   40 

Grinnell  Land,  insect  life  in,  303 

Grosmont,    143 

Grouse  family,  see   Tetraonida. 

Grouse,  Red,  disease  of,  34-5,  252  ; 
forms    of,    254  ;     habits,    255  ; 
origin   of,    258-9 ;     changes   of 
plumage,     260 ;      causes    of 
change  of  plumage,   261-2 



Grouse,  Willow,  254,  255  ;   ancestor 

of  Red  Grouse,  262 
Guisbrough,  3,  16  ;  rainfall  at,  59  ; 

valley,   244 
Guisbrough  Moor,   34,   121  ;    lower 

Estuarines  on,    185,   210 

Hadena  glauca,  278,  294 
Hackness,    3 

—  Moor,  5,   194,  208 
Hair  Grass,  Early,  on  swiddens,  46 

- —  Tufted,  see    Aira  cces- 

Wavy,    63,   72,  75,  94, 
99;  distribution,  161 
Hair  Moss,  on  swiddens,  45,  46  ;   on 
thin  moors,  68  ;    in  Greenland, 
169  ;   glacial  survival,  169 
Hagworm,    264 

—  Hill,  264 

Haltica  ericeti,  a  jumping  beetle,  275 

Hambleton    Hills,    4 ;     barrier    to 
glaciers,  137  ;  lower  Estuarines 
in,  186  ;  Middle  Oolites  on,  192 
Lower  Calcareous  Grit  on,  194 
heather-clad    spurs    of,     196 
cause   of,    239  ;     landslips   on, 
239  ;    outliers  of,  240  ;    strata 
of,  239  ;    glaciation  of,  240 

Hanover,    59 

Hardale  Slack,  120,  123,  148 

Hardhurst  Moor,  stone  circle  on, 
22  ;  overflows  on,  147  ;  en- 
closures on,    179 

Hardhurst  Slack,   147 

Hares  on  moors,  250 

Harlow  Bush,   19 

Hart  Leap  Gap,  30 

Harwood  Dale,  25,  115,  146,  147 

Harwood  Dale  Peat  Holes,  vege- 
tation of,  78 

Harwood  Dale  Moor,  191 

Hasty  Bank,  30  ;  form,  230  ;  land- 
slips, 230  ;  Wainstones  at,  231 

Hawnby,  26,  75 

Hawnby  Hill,  Lower  Calcareous 
Grit  on,    194  ;     origin,    207 

Hawnby  Moor,   25 

Hawthorn,  on  slopes,  105,  116 

Hay  burn  Wyke,   3,    147 

Hazel  Head,   52,    141 

Heather,  14,  37  ;  leaves  of,  62  ; 
evergreen  character  of,  63  ; 
growth  of,  OcS  ;  on  Cal- 
careous Grit,    108  ;    geological 

age,  151  ;   distribution  of,  159  ; 

origin  of,   164  ;    in  Greenland, 

169  ;      glacial    survival,     170  ; 

lepidoptera  on,  285,  289,  290-3, 

Heather  moors,  37,  39,  42,  67,  68, 

69,  116 
Heath  Grass,  Decumbent,  75 
Heath  Rush,  see  Juncus  squarrosus. 
Heaths,    East  Anglian,  51 
—         Hampshire,  51 
Midland,  51 
German,  60 
Heaths,  fossil,  154 
Heaths,  see   Erica. 
Heath,  word  rarely  used,  32 
Heck  Dale,   108,   217 
Hell  Holes,  25,  26,   191 
Helmsley,  4  ;   moors  east  of,  195 
Helmsley  Moor,   4  ;    trees  on,   70  ; 

coal  on,  187 
Helwath  Beck,  29,  227 

—        Grains,    29 
Hematurga  atomaria,  278 
Hepiahts  velleda,   280,   287 
Hey,  Rev.  W.  C,  on  Mutilla  euro- 

pcea,     268,     272  ;      on     Pteros- 

tichns  lepidas,  273 
High  Cliff,   237 
High  Stone  Dyke,  17 
High  Mossy  Grain,  29 
Hipper  Beck,  208 
Hob  Hole,  43 
"  Hochmoore,"   78 
Hograh,  Great,  28  ;   Oak  wood  in, 

125,  219  ;  Wood  Ant  in,  267 
Hograh,  Little,  wood  in,   125 
Hograh  Moor,  hill  on,   186 
Holcus  mollis,  75 
Hole  of  Horcum,  Dwarf  Cornel  in, 

175  ;     origin   of,    215-7  ;     type 

of  valley,   222 
Hole   Skew,    28 
Holly,  no,  116 
Hood  Hill,  origin  of,  240 
Horsetail,  Common,  172 
fossil,  189 
Wood,    172 
Howardian  Hills,  moors  of,  60 
Howes,  15,  23-24,  30 
Howe,     Castleton,    vegetation     of, 

71-2  ;    origin  of,  222-3 
Humic  Acids,  57 

Humus,  raw,  51  ;    origin  of,  54-50 
Hutton-le-Hole,  16,  30,  196 



Hutton    Moor,     lower     Estuarines 

on,  185 
Hutton  Mulgrave  Moor,  vegetation 

of,  66 
Hydrocotyle  palustris,  120 
Hydroporus,  beetles  in  Sphagnum, 

Hymenoptera  on  moors,  267-272 
Hypnum   cupressiforme    var.    erice- 

toritm,  68 
Hypsipetes   sordidata,  2S0,  294,  295 

Iburndale,  4,  122,  137,  147  ; 
origin,   215 

Ice  Age,  9,  126,  134  et  s-q.  ;  im- 
portance of,  134  ;  moors  dur- 
ing, 137  ;  incontrovertibility 
of,  149  ;  and  moorland  flora, 
166  et  seq.  ;  in  dales,  226  ;  and 
fauna,  301-4 

Ice  Sheets,  135-6 

Inferior  Oolite,  185-192  ;  spurs  of 
on  Hambletons,  196 

Ingleby  Greenhow,  2,  15,  ;    rainfall 

at,   59 

Ingleby  Moor,  19  ;  lower  Estuarines 

on,  186 
Ilex  aquifolium,  see  Holly. 
Inns,  33 
Insects,    267-307  ;      succession    of, 

276-281  ;    associations  of,  284  ; 

and  Ice  Age,  301-4 
Inter-glacial   periods,    no   evidence 

of     in     North-Eastern     York- 
shire,   178 
Irish  Bogs,  91 
Iron    Workings,    ancient,    26,    27  ; 

cause   of   deforestation,    131, 

Irton  Moor,  5,  194 

Jenny  Bradley  Stone,  19 
John  of  Hexham,  33 
Jugger  Howe  Beck,   52 

Dale,   121,   122,   137, 
147,   227 
Junceta,  90,   116,   117,   120-121 
J  uncus    communis,    42  ;     on    thin 

moors,  68  ;    on  Yarlsey  Moss, 

J  uncus     conglomeratus,     on     thin 

moors,  66  ;   in  slacks,  117,  120, 

Jtmcus  effusus,  120 

J  uncus  squarrosus,  on  swiddens,  46  ; 

on    thin    moors,    65,    68 ;     in 

slacks,  120  ;  distribution,  161  ; 

in     Greenland,     169 ;      glacial 

survival,  169 
Juniper,  on  slopes  in  Baysdale,  105  ; 

in  Stockdale,   112;    geological 

age,   152  ;    in  Greenland,  169  ; 

glacial  survival,  169 
Jurassic  system,  184  ;    flora,  188-9 

Keld y  Grain,  211 

Kellaways  Rock,  moors  on,  67  ; 
106 ;  causes  bogs  on  slopes, 
112  ;  on  Stony  Moor,  148, 
192-3  ;  in  Newton  Dale,  198  ; 
at  foot  of  Tabular  Hills,  199- 
209  ;  in  synclinal  troughs, 
2 10-2 1 1  ;  former  extension  of, 
21  x-2  ;  on  the  Hambletons, 
239  ;  at  Freeborough  Hill, 

Kemps withen,  Heather  moor  on, 
39  ;    moor  grit  on,  191 

Kendall,  Prof.  P.  F.,  on  peat  in 
Ewe  Crag  Slack,  116;  on 
glacier-lakes,  9,  139,  141-4, 
147  ;  on  Newton  Dale,  144  ; 
on  overflow  channels,  139 ; 
on  lake  Eskdale,  141  ;  on 
glaciation  of  country  near 
Freeborough  Hill,  243 

Kildale,  2,  3,  7,  215 

Kildale  Peat  Bog,  66,  92,  93 

Killing  Pits,  19 

Kimmeridge  Clay,  75,   199,  204 

Kirby    Bank,    109 

Kirkdale  Cave,  fauna  of,  247 

Kirby  Knowle,  hills  near,  240 

"  Knappers,"  35 

Knoll,  Hutton,  209 
—     Lastingham,  209 

Knox,  Robert,  on  Howes  arranged 
like  Ursa  Major,  24 

Kobresia  caricina,  169 

Lady  Bridge  Slack,  140 

Lady's  Mantle,  173 

Lagopus  albus,  see  Grouse,  Willow. 

Lagopus,     distribution     of     genus, 

255-7  ;   origin  of,  256,  258 
Lagopus  scoticus,  see  Grouse,  Red. 
Lake  Eskdale,  evidences  of,   141 -6 
Lake  Gormire,   239 



Lamplough,  G.  \Y.,  on  the  Spitz- 
bergea  flora,  172  ;  on  Pleisto- 
cene fauna  of  Britain,  172  ;  on 
inter-glacial  periods,   178 

Land-bridge  between  Europe,  Green- 
land and  America,  161,  306 

Landslips,  220,  230,  232,  233,  239 

Langdale,  146 ;  Lower  Calcareous 
Grit  at,  194  ;  Ridge,  origin  of, 

Lapwing,  253 

Larch,  106 

Larentia  ccesiata,  2jj,  280,  286,  294 

Larcntia  multistrigaria,  276 

Larvse,  absence  of  subterranean,  56  ; 
scarcity  of  stem  and  root- 
feeding,   282 

Lasiocampa  quercus,  see  Moth,  Oak 

Lasius  flaws,   267 
—       nigcr,    267 

Lastingham,  33,  46 ;  Kellaways 
Rock  at,  193  ;  moor  edge  at, 

Lathyrus    palustris,    173 

Lealholm,  3,  137 

Lcalholm  Moor,  Kellaways  Rock 
on,    210 

Leaves  of  moorland  plants,  62 

Leland,   33 

Lepidoptera,  moorland,  succession 
of,  276-281  ;  defined,  284  ; 
associations  of,  284-7  >  num- 
ber of,  285  ;  colours  of,  287  ; 
local  range  of,  288  ;  distribu- 
tion of,  290-4  ;  origin  of,  296- 
301  ;  relation  to  Ice  Age,  301-4 

Lcvisham,  4,  175,  195,  196 
—        Beck,  216 

Moor,  Lower  Calcareous 
Grit  on,  194  ;  "  griffs  " 
on,  194 

Leven,  River,  234 

Lewis,  F.  J.,  on  succession  of  plants 
in  peat,  127 

Lias,  moorland  plants  on,  184  ;  in 
formation  of  dales,  219-20  ; 
sandy  series  forms  spurs  of 
Cleveland  Hills,  233 

Lichens,  40 

I. ilia  Cross,  scene  at,  316 

Limestone,  Upper,  192  ;  near  Pick- 
ering, 196 

Limestone,  Lower,  192  ;  Snainton 
and  Carlton  Moors  on,  195 

Ling,   see  Heather. 

Linncea    borealis,     175,     on    Silpho 

Moor,    176 
Little  Grain,  29 
Live   Moor,    232 
Liverton  Moor,  Kellaways  Rock  on, 


Liverworts,   on  swiddens,   45 

Lizard,  264 

Lockton  High  Moor,  Kellaways 
Rock  on,  193 

Lockton  Low  Moor,  Lower  Calcar- 
eous Grit  on,  194 

Lockwood   Beck,   rainfall  at,   59 
—         Hills,    136,    179 

Long  Grain,  29 

Lonsdale,  3 

Loose  Howe,  2,  23,  190 
Ridge,  79 

Lophozia  inflata,  on  swiddens,  45 

Loskey   Beck,    209 

Louven  Howe,    7,    15 

Low  Mossy  Grain,  29 

Lowna,  122 

Lownorth  Moor,  Kellaways  Rock 
on,  211 

Luzula   viultiflora,    169 

Lycopodium    annoticum,    169 
selago,   169 

Lyme  Grass,  Sea,   172 

Margery   Stone,    19 

Marshall,  "  Rural  Economy  of 
Yorkshire,"  6 ;  use  of  word 
moor  by,  31  ;  on  the  Eastern 
Moorlands,  69 

Marsh  Gas,   57,  90 

Marsh  Pennywort,    120 

Mat  Grass,  leaves  of,  63  ;  on  Danby 
Low  Moor,  65  ;  on  thin  moors, 
71  ;  in  slacks,  120  ;  in  Green- 
land, 169  ;  glacial  survival,  169 

May  Lily,  176 

May  Moss,  6,  7,  29  ;  situation  of, 
79 ;  vegetation  of,  80  ;  peat 
at,  79 

Melampyrwn  pratense  v.  montanum, 

Merlin,  252,  254,  264 

Merula  torquata,  see  Ouzel,  Ring. 

Mesozoic  Age,    184 

Micorrhiza,    63 

Micro-organisms  in  peat,   56 

.Middle  Oolites,  192 

Middlesbrough,    rainfall  at,   58 



Miocene  flora,  154  ;  in  Greenland, 

Miocene  uplift  of  anticline,  204, 
205,  215 

Miscodera  arctica,  274 

Mole,  56 

Molinietum,    75,    119 

Molinia  varia  (c&rulea)  41  ;  on 
thin  moors,  66,  75  ;  on 
Mosses,  78  ;  on  swidden,  104  ; 
in  Birch  woods,  124 ;  with 
Birch  on  Harwood  Dale  Moor, 
132  ;  distribution,  161  ;  on 
glaciated  moors,  179 

Molluscs,  scarcity  of,  266 

Moor  Buzzard,  253 

Moor  Grit,  39,  191,  198,  199  ; 
outliers,   209 

Moorland  plants,  adaptations  of, 

Moors :  area,  2  ;  general  aspects 
of,  13-14;  names  of,  28-30; 
fires  on,  34  ;  local  designations 
of,  38;  soil  of,  48-57;  climate  of, 
58-61 ;  highest,  60;  lowest,  60; 
re-claimed,  75-6 ;  develop- 
ment of,  53,  54,  76,  87;  Ice 
Age  on,  134  et  seq.  ;  in  Eocene 
period,  153  ;  formed  in  Plio- 
cene period,  165  ;  boundary  of, 
1 79  ;  glaciated,  1 79  ;  southern 
boundary,  195  ;  on  limestone, 
196  ;  coincide  with  outcrop  of 
Inferior  and  Middle  Oolites, 

Moor,  word,  5,  31-2 

Moorsholm  Moor,  19 ;  Kellaways 
Rock  on,   193,  210 

Moraines,  in  dales,  135  ;  on  moors, 
136  ;    at  Lealholm,  at  Kildale, 

Mortimer,  J.  R.,  on  the  Killing  Pits, 

19  ;    on  the  Dan  by  Low  Moor 

Pits,   27  ;    on  arrangement  of 

Howes,   24 
Moses  Syke  Slack,    148 
Moss,  Dr.  C.  E.,  on  Bilberry  summit, 


Mosses,  on  watershed,  77,  83  ;  on 
Tabular  Hills,  84-5 ;  dis- 
tribution of,  86  ;  formation  of 
87-97  ;  convexity  of,  90-92  ; 
erosion  of,  97-99  ;  plant  associ- 
ations of,  100;  in  slacks,  119, 

Moss  Slack,  142 
— ■     Swang,    28  ;     vegetation   in, 
119;  overflow  of  Lake  Eskdale, 
143-4,  146  ;    coal  in,  187 

Moth,   Antler,  281 

—  Bilberry,  281.  294 

—  Brown  Silver  Lines,  278 

—  Emperor,  277,  280,  286,  291, 

295,  299-300 

—  Fox,  276,  279 

—  Grass  Wave,  288,  293 

—  Grey  Scalloped  Bar,  279 

—  Haworth's   or  Cotton  Grass, 

282,   289 
Heath,    278 

—  Heath  Pug,  279,  306 

—  Heath  Rustic,  277,  280,  287, 


—  Highflyer,    280,    295 

—  Lead  Belle,  279 

—  Light  Knot-grass,  279,  286 

—  Little  Yellow-underwing,  278, 

287,   293 

—  Moor  Carpet,  277,  280,  286, 

294,  306 

—  Mottled  Grey,  276 
Moorland  Silver  Y,  280,  286, 

291,   298 
Oak  Eggar,  277,     279,    286, 
291,   295 

—  Ruby  Tiger,  278 

—  Smoky  Wave,  279 

—  True  Lover's  Knot,  280,  287, 


—  Wood  Swift,  280,  287 

—  Wood  Tiger,  278 

—  Yellow  Horned,  276 
Moths,  visiting  moors,  282,  295 
Mountain  Ash,  young,  50  ;   in  peat, 

83  ;   on  slopes,  105  ;   in  woods, 

125-6  ;    by  roadside,  132 
Mountain  Cat's  Ear,  173 
Mount  St.   John,   240 
Mudd,     William,     investigator     of 

Lichens,  40 
Murk  Esk,  186,  205 

—         Valley,    137,    141,    145, 
146,    186 ;    origin   of, 

Murk    Mire    Moor,    28  ;     overflow- 
channels  on,   140-4 
Mutilla  europcea,  2bS-2"j2. 
MutillidcB,  distribution  of,  269,  271 
Myrica  acuminata,   153 

—  asplenifolia,  154 



Myrica  gale,  see  Sweet  Gale. 

—  in  Lower  Bagshot  Beds,  1 53 

—  salicina,  153 

Nan  Stone,  19 

Nardus  striata,  see  Mat  Grass. 
Narthecium  ossifragum,  90,  161 
Nathorst,  on  Spitz bergen  flora,  168 
Nehring,  on  tundral  stage  after  Ice 

Age,  174 
Nelson,  T.  H.,  on  Cleveland  Grouse, 


Nelson  Stone,  19 

Nemeophila  plant aginis,  278 

Neolithic  Age,    15,    16 

Nepticula  myrtillela,  301 
—       vitisella,  290 

Nettle,  Stinging,  61-2 

Newton  Dale,  4,  5,  12-13  ;  Oak- 
birch  scrub  in,  105  ;  double 
Bracken  slope,  106;  Moliniain, 
119;  peat  in,  119;  fen  vegeta- 
tion in,  1 19-120;  Sweet  Gale 
in,  122;  overflow  channel,  138, 
144-6;  Kellaways  Rock  in,  193 

Newton  Moor,  erratics  on,  137  ; 
lower  Estuarines  on,  210 

Newton-on-Rawcliffe,  29,  108 

Noctna  castanea,   288 

Northallerton,  4  ;  rainfall  at,  59 

Northdale,   224 

Oakley  Beck,   142 

Oak,  on  moors,  50  ;  on  slopes,  105  ; 
in  peat,   123  ;    woods,   125 

Obtrusch  Rook,   15 

Old  Beckwith  Stone,  19 

Oldenburg,  59 

Ogilvie-Grant,  Mr.,  on  types  of 
Red  Grouse,  254  ;  on  plumage 
of  Red  Grouse,  260  ;  on 
plumage  of  Willow  Grouse,  262 

Old  Byland,  195 

Oligocene  flora,  154 

Osmotherley,  3,  76,  192 
Moor,  33 

Outliers  of  the  Hambletons,  240 

—  of   Kellaways   Rock,    193, 

210,  211 

—  of  Lower  Calcareous  Grit, 

194,  207 
Ouzel,  Ring,  252,  254,  263 
Overflow-channels,     137-8,     140-4  ; 

behind  Robin  Hood's  Bay,  147; 

on  Hardhurst  Moor,  147-8 

Over  Silton,  hill  at,  240 

Over  Silton  Moor,    196 

Oxbows,    144,    147 

Oxdale  Slack,  147 

Oxford  Clay,    192,   193  ;    effect  on 

form  of  valleys,  216-7 
Oxycoccus  palustris,  see  Cranberry, 

Pannierman's  Causeway,  19 
Patiagra  petvavia,  278,  287 
Pan,    moor,    mode    of    occurrence, 
48-49  ;    analysis  of,  50  ;    effect 
of,  50  ;    formation  of,  57  ;    on 
Great  Ayton  Moor,  68 
Park  Dyke  Slack,  142 
Parmelia  physodes  on  Heather,  68 
Passage  Beds,   192,   194 
Patagonia,  vegetation  of,  172 
Peak,    2,    3,    7  ;    Solitary   Ant    at, 

Pea,  Marsh,  173 

Pease,  Sir  Alfred,  on  moorland  fox- 
hounds, 250 
Peat,  8,  38  ;  at  Falcon  Inn,  78,  131  ; 
at  May  Moss,  79 ;  at 
Pike  Hill  Moss,  81,  131  ; 
at  Cock  Heads,  82,  131  ; 
at  Flat  Howe,  83 ;  at 
Bluewath,  83,  130 ;  at 
Rosedale  Head,  83  ;  at 
Loose  Howe,  84,  131  ;  on 
Dan  by  Ridge,  84,  131  ; 
on  Stony  Ridge,  84,  131  ; 
on  Arden  Moor,  85,  131  ; 
on  Blakey  Ridge,  88 ; 
in  valleys,  96  ;  at  Collier 
Gill,  96 

—  in  Ewe  Crag  Slack,   116;    in 

Fen  Bogs,  119  ;  at  Dan- 
by  Beacon,  129 ;  in 
Blakey  Gill,   130 

—  formation  of,  in  water,  89-90  ; 

on  slopes,  94-5  ;  age  of, 
97  ;    erosion  of,  97-99 

—  Holes,  vegetation  of  old,  88 

—  Rigg,  44 
Peats,  35 

Pebbles,  quartzite,  on  moors,  201-3 

Peneplain,  moorlands  a,  201 

Pen  Howe,  15 

Pcnnines,  76,  86,  89 

Pexton  Moor,  195 

Phycis  fusca,  277,  288,  306 

Phytometra  vividaria,  279 



Phillips,  John,  7  ;  on  glacial  sur- 
vivals, 167-8  ;  on  origin  of 
moorland  plateau,  200 

Phragmites  communis,  see  Reed. 

Pickering,   1 2 

Beck,  145 
Moor,  5,  30 

Pinguecula  vulgaris,  169 

Pike  Hill  Moss,  80  ;    peat  at,  81  ; 
vegetation  of,  81 
—     Howe,  191 

Pine,  Scots,  on  moors,  50  ;  70  ;  in 
peat,  78  ;  on  slopes,  105  ;  in 
woods,  125  ;  rarity  of  in 
ancient  woods,  132  ;  planta- 
tions of,  132;  seedlings,  132;  in 
Redcar  Peat  Deposit,  133  ;  in 
Scotch  peat,  133  ;  geological 
age,    152 

Pinus  sylvestris,  see  Pine,  Scots. 

Pipit  Meadow,  253 

Pit  Dwellings,  25-27 

Plant-associations,  6,  9,  37 

Plateau,  moorland,  a  plain  of 
marine  denudation,  200 

Pliocene  flora,  155 

Plumage  of  Red  Grouse,  origin  of 
changes  of,  261-2 

Plusia  interrogations,  280,  286,  302, 


Poa  pratensis,  172 
Polyommatus  phl&as,  281 
Polypodium  phlegopteris,   172 
Polypody,  Beech,  172 
Polyirichum     commune,     see     Hair 

Post-glacial  changes  of  climate,  126  ; 
their    influence    on    moorland 
vegetation,  129 
Potentilla  anserir.a,  173 

—         tormeniilla,   see   Tormen- 
Poverty  Hill,  coal  at,  187 
Precipices,  inland,  193,  194 
Primrose,    no 
Providence  Heath,  32 
Pteris  aquilina,  see  Bracken. 
• —     Bournensis,  ijj 
—    eocanica,  177 
- —     oeningensis,  177 
Pterostichus  csthiops,  273 
—  lepidus,  273 

vitreus,  273 
Purple  Moor  Grass,  see  Molinia. 
Pye  Rigg,  29 

Pyrola  rotundifolia,  175  ;    on  Hut- 
ton  Bushel  Moor,  176 
Pyrus  aucuparia,  see  Mountain  Ash. 

Quail,  253 

Quaker's  Causeway,  19 

Quartzite  pebbles,  201-3 

Rabbits  on  moors,  250 

Rain,  action  of,  53 

Raindale  Mill,  12,  145 

Rainfall  on  the  Eastern  Moorlands, 

59 ;     on    the    North    German 

moors,  60 
Raisdale,  231 

Randay  Mere,  18,  123,  143-4,  146 
Ranunculus  acris,  173 
Raven,  30,  253 
Gill,  30 

—  Scar,  30 

—  Stones,  30,   183 
Redcar  Peat  Bed,  133 
Redman  Plain,  swiddens  on,  46 
Reed,  F.  R.  C,  "  Geological  History 

Rivers  of  East  York- 
shire," 8  ;  on  former  ex- 
tension of  chalk,  200  ; 
on  origin  of  moorland 
plateau,  201  ;  on  river 
system  of  dales,  214  ; 
on  origin  of  Eskdale 
215  ;  on  origin  of 
branch  dales,  218  ;  on 
cutting  back  of  Murk 
Esk,  226  ;  on  the  origin 
of  the  Tees,  Leven  and 
Esk,  234 
Reed,  Common,  88,  89,  119 

—  Mace,  119 

Reid,  Clement,  on  age  of  moor 
plants,  151-2  ;  on  Arctic  plants, 
166  ;  on  Ice  Age  in  English 
Channel,  167  ;  on  inter- 
glacial  periods,  178 

Reindeer  Moss,  39,  65,  68  ;  glacial 
survival,  169 

Riccal  Dale,  69 

Ridges  between  dales,  moors  on,  70 

Rievaulx,  4,  195,   196 

Moor,  wind  on  58  ,  193  ; 
partly   on   Lower 
Limestone,  195 

Ringing  Keld  Valley,  147 

Rink,  on  Greenland  flora,  168,  171-3 

Ripa,  see  Grouse,  Willow. 



River  development  in  North  East- 
ern Yorkshire,  214 
Roadside  sections,  49 

—  vegetation,  62 
Roads,  moor,  15-19 
Robbed  Howe,   15, 

Robin  Hood's  Bay,  2,  3,  5,  115,  121, 

122,  147,  179 
Rock  fonts,  183 
Roman  road,  17 
"  Rooks,"  turf,   35 
Roseberry  Topping,  scarps  on,  233  ; 

origin  of,  237 
Rosedale,  4,    5,    124,    187,;     origin, 
215  ;    trend  of,  220 
Round  Hill  in,  224 
Bank  Top,   88 
Branch  Railway,  62 
Common,  187,  190 
Roulston  Scar,  4,  194,  239 
Round  Hill,  in  Fryup,  in  Rosedale, 

Rowan,  see  Mountain  Ash. 
Roxby  Low  Moor,  31,  179 

—  High  Moor,  31,  120,  130,  179 
Kellaways  Rock  on,  193 
Peat    Holes,    see    Hardale 

Rubus  chamcemorus,  169 

—  saxatilis,  173 

Rudd,  Scar,  denudation  at,  232 
Ruderal  Plants,  62 
RudlandMoor,  coal  on,  187 

—  Slack,  120 

—  Ridge,  15  ;    moor  pan  on, 

Rumex  acetosa,  173 

—  acetosella,  see  Sheep's  Sor- 


Rushes,  see  J  uncus. 

Rutmoor  Beck,  202 

Ryedale,  4 ;  vegetation  in,  108  ; 
outliers  in,  194,  207  ;  origin  of, 
215  ;    branches  of,  219 

Sage,  Wood,  no 
Sagina  subulata,  175,  176 
St.  Helena  House,  peat  near,  88 
Sallow,  Moor,  123 
Salix  polaris,  168 
—     repens,  123 
Saltersgate  Inn,  33 

—         Moor,  40 
Saltwick  Bay,  heath  vegetation  at, 


Sand  Dale,  108,  21S 

Saturnia  pavonia,  see  Moth,  Em- 

Sawdon  Moor,  beetles  on,  273 

Sawfly,  277 

Scalla  Moor,  196 

Scarborough,  2,  3,  136,  137,  191 

Scarth  Nick,  232  ;  a  glacial  over- 
flow, 238 

Scenes,  moorland,  12-13,  315-317 

Scharff,  R.  F.,  on  American  land- 
bridge,  162  ;  on  origin  of  Tiger 
Beetle,  273 

Schenk,  Prof.,  on  leaves  of  Myricu, 
154  ;    on  leaves  of  Vaccinium, 

154,  155 
Schimper,  on  evergreen  Heather,  63 ; 

on  Arctic  plants,  170 

Schleswig-Holstein,   59 

Schroter  and  Fruh,  on  peat  form- 
ation, 56 ;  on  growth  of 
Sphagnum,     92 

Schulz,  Dr.,  on  Sweet  Gale,  178 

Scirpetum,    66,   93 

Scirpus  ccBSpitosa,  leaves  of,  63  ;  on 
thin  moors,  65,  66  ;  on 
peat  bog,  93  ;  geo- 
logical age,  152  ;  dis- 
tribution, 161 
—       lacustris,    89 

Scodiona  belgaria,  279 

Scugdale,  232  ;    origin  of,  235-6 

Scurvy  Grass,    173 

Sea  Cut,  5,  146 

Seamer  Moor,  136  ;   Lower  Calcare- 
ous Grit  on,  194 
—  (near  Stokesley),  180 

Seavy  Hill  Peat  Pits,  84 

Sea- winds,  influence  of,  132 

Sedge,  Few-flowered,  175,  176 

Sedge-like  Kobresia,   169 

Sedges,  see  Carex. 

Seward,  Prof.,  on  Bajocian  flora, 

Sewell,  J.  T.,  on  overflow  from 
Wheeldale,  148 

Shale  heaps,  vegetation  of,  53-4 

Sheep,  moor,  their  influence  on  the 
vegetation,  251  ;  their  resem- 
blance to  boulders,  252 

Sheep's   Sorrel,    on   swiddens,    70 ; 
geological    age,     151  ;      distri- 
bution,   161  ;     in   Greenland, 
i<><)  ;     glacial   survival,    169 

Sheep  walks,  251 



Sheppard,  T.  and  Stather,  Messrs., 

on  pebbles  on  Wolds,  203 
Shunner  Howe,  23 
Sil  Howe,  7 
Silpho,  30 

—  Moor,  174,  176,  208 
Silver  Weed,  173 
Sinnington,  74 

Skews,  28 

Slacks,  28  ;  vegetation  in,  1 15-123  ; 
peat  in,  123,  126,  127-9  ;  over- 
flow-channels  of  glacier-lakes, 

Slavering  Ciss  Stone,  19 
Slavey  Slack,  148 

Sleddale,  3 ;  a  beheaded  valley, 

—  Bog,   121 
Sleightholme  Dale,  69 
Sleights  Moor,  5,  7,  15,  42,  191 
Slopes,  conditions  of  life  on,   101  ; 

effects  of  burning,  104  ;  trees 
on,  105  ;  double  Bracken, 
106-7  >  zones  of  vegetation  on, 
107-9;  double  slopes,  n  1-2; 
bog  vegetation  of,  112-3; 
plant  associations  of,  113 

Slug,  Black,  266 

Smith,  Dr.  W.  G.,  9  ;  on  Bilberry 
summit,    95 

—  Robert,  9 

—  -       William,  on  valleys  on  the 

Hackness  outlier,  217 
Snainton  Moor,  195 
Sneaton,  High  Moor,  42,  191 
Snilesworth,    76 

Moor,    30 
Snipe,  253 
Soil  of  moors,  48-57  ;   sandy  nature 

of,  51 
Sorrel  Dock,  173 

—  Wood,  no 

Spaunton  Moor,  23,  30  ;   vegetation 

of,  74-5,  122,  196 
Species,  post-glacial,  259,  305 
Sphagneta,  82,  89,  116,  117 
Sphagnum,   41  ;  on  thin  moors,  68  ; 
on  Mosses,  78,  80, 
81,    82  ;     import- 
ance in  formation 
of        peat,        87  ; 
growth  of,  92  ;    in 
Greenland,     169  ; 
glacial     survivals, 

Sphagnum  acutifoliiim,   in   gutters, 


—  papillosum,      v.      con- 

fertum,    on    swid- 
dens,  45 

—  recumum,    117 
Spiders,  39 

Spilosoma  fuliginosa,  278 

Spindle  Thorn,  coal  at,  187  ;   upper 

Estuarines  at,  209 
Spitzbergen  flora,  168,   172 
Springs,  52,  53,  56,  90,  112 
Sproxton  Moor,  195 
Staindale,   175,   194,  217 
Staintondale,  5,  147,  179,  226 

—  Moor,  29,  72 

Stanghow  Moor,  vegetation  of,  66  ; 

upper  Estaurines  on,  210 
Stape Inn, 33 

Stockdale,  sward    in,     74 ;      vege- 
tation in,   1 1 1-2 
Head,  40-1  ;    soil  at,  48 
Stonegate,  3,  190 
Stone  Rubus,  173 
Stones,  standing,  19-20 
Stony  Marl  Howes,  78 

—  Moor,  29  ;   boulders  on,  148, 

Ridge,  2,  84,  87,  131,  190 

—  Rigg,    outlier   of    Kellaways 

Rock     on     Wykeham 
High  Moor,  211 
Strophosomns  lateralis,  275 

—  retusas,   275 
Suffield,  7 

—  Moor,  7 ;  Lower  Calcareous 
Grit  on,  194 

Sulphuretted  Hydrogen,  57,  90 

"  Summer  geese,"  or  "  colts,"  61 

Sundew,  80,  161 

Swangs,  28 

Swards,  74 

Sweet  Gale,  on  Cropton  Moor,  43  ; 
on  Peat  Rigg,  44  ;  in  slacks, 
121,  122  ;  distribution  of, 
1 21-3  ;  absent  from  some 
moors,  122  ;  geological  age, 
152  ;  history  of,  178  ;  lepidop- 
tera  on,  285,  288 

Swiddens,  33,  34 ;  vegetation  of, 
44-46  ;  absence  of  non-moor- 
land plants  from,  61  ;  on 
slopes,   104 

Swinsow  Dale,  30 

Symes  Valley,  5,  146,  147,  226 



Synclinal  troughs,  199,  205  ;  young- 
er strata  preserved  in,  2 10- n  ; 

Tabular  Hills,  3,  4,  7,  13  ;  moors 
on,  43,  68-70  ;  Bracken  on, 
106,  190  ;  strata  of,  192-5, 
199  ;  origin  of,  206-8  ;  strata 
at  base  of,  209  ;  valleys  of, 

Tansley's  "Types  of  British  vege- 
tation," 9 

Taraxacum  palustre,  173 

Tate  and  Blake,  on  origin  of  dales, 
214;  on  landslips  in  dales,  220  ; 
on  Scugdale,  236 

Tees,  River,  2,  234 

Temple  Beald,  20 

Tertiary  deposits  on  moors,  201-3 

Tetralix  moors,  80,  116,  118,  123,  distribution  of,  256 

Thecla  rubi,  279,  283,  286 

Thieves'  Dikes,  7 

Thin  Moors,  characters  of,  65  ; 
plant  associations  of,   65-76 

Thistles,  62 

Thompson,  M.  L.,  on  Miscodera 
arctica,  274 

Thorgill,  88 

Thread-worms,  34 

Thornton  Dale,  108  ;  complexity  of 
tributary  dales,    217-8 

Thyme,  geological  age,  151  ;  gla- 
cial survival,  169 

Thymus  serpyllum,  151,  169 

Ticksey  Howe,  19 

Tidy,  Professor,  analysis  of  water 
from  Jugger  Howe  Beck,  52 

Tiger  Beetle,  273,  277 

Tipula,  281 

Tormentil,  on  swiddens,  46 ;  on 
thin  moors,  68  ;  geological  age, 


Tortrix  Moths,  2>r  >,  294 
Tortrix  politana,  279,  288 
Tranmire  Slack  (North  Cleveland), 
—  Slack,     vegetation    of, 

Stone,  19 
Transitions  between  plant-associa- 
tions, 65,  70,  76,  113 
Trees,  effect  of  pan  on,  50  ;    effo  I 
of    moor    sheep    on,    50  ;     on 
Kievaulx  and  Helmsley  Moors, 

70  ;  destruction  of,  in  slacks, 
128  ;  absent  from  peat,  13 1-2 
Three  Howes  on  Rudland  Rigg,  1 5  : 
on  Easington  I 
Moor,  23  ;  on  Lgton 
High  Moor,  23  ;  on 
Harwood     Dale     Moor, 

—     Lords'  Stones,   19 
Trientalis  europaa,   III 
Trigger  Castle,  syncline  and  Kella- 

ways  Rock  at,  211 
Triodea  decumbens,  75 
Tripsdale,  214,  219 
Trough  House,  84 
Troutsdale,   5,  175.  226 

—  Moor,  Lower  Calcareous 

Grit  on,   194 
Tumuli,  see  Howes. 
Tundra,  174 
Turton,  R.  B.,  on  effects  of  firing 

the  Heather,  44 
Turf-graving,  35 
Turves,   35 
Twite    or    Mountain    Linnet,    252, 

254,  263 
Two  Howes  Rigg,  23,  141,  145 
Typha  I  at  i  folia,  see  Reed  Mace. 

Ugthorpe,   199 

—  Mill,  20 
Moor,  27 
Rails,  24 

Ulex  euro  pans,  see  Gorse. 

I  rra  Moor,  2 

Urtica  dioica,  see  Nettle. 

Vacciniales,  geological  age  of,  151 
Vaccinium,  leaves  in  Lower  Ohgo- 
cene,  154  ;  in 
Miocene,  155  ;  or- 
igin of,  160  ;  lepi- 
doptera  on,  285, 
289,  290,  294, 

—  myrtillus,  see  Bilberry. 

—  uliginosum,    geological 

age,     151  ;      in 
Greenland,     169; 
glacial     survival, 

—  vitis  idaa,      lee     <  »«• 

Vale  oi  Pii  kering,  2,  3,  12,  137,  i|5> 

I     |l.,     IT, 



Vaie  of  Stokesley,  2  ;   origin  of,  234 

—  York,  2,  4  ;    moors  in,  180 
Valleys,  see  Dales. 

Vernal  Grass,  Sweet-scented,  75 

Vetch,  Tufted,  173 

Viccia  cracca,  173 

Villages,  absence  of  from  moors,  33 

—       "  British,"  see  Pits. 
Violet,   Dog,    no,    173 

—  Marsh,  173 
Viola  canina,  no,  173 

—  palustris,  173 
Viper,  264 

Wade's  Causeway,  17 

Wainstones,  origin  of,  231 

Wapley  Moor,  drift  on,  179  ;   Kella- 

ways  Rock  on,  193,  210 
Wardle     Rigg,     148  ;       Kellaways 

Rock  on,  193 
Warming,  on   flora  of   Greenland, 

168,  173 
Warwickshire,  Bracken  in,  106 
Wass  Bank,  72 
—     Moor,  195 
Water,  analysis  of  moorland,  52 

—  Dittins,  19 

Waterfalls,  due  to  influence  of  Ice 

Age,  227-8 
Watershed,  central,  elevation  of,  2  ; 

rainfall  on,  59  ;  Mosses  on,  77  ; 

fossiliferous     grit      on,      190  ; 

strata  on,  198-9 
Wayworth  Moor,   fossiliferous   grit 

on,  190 
Weathering  of  rocks,  53 
Webera  nutans,  on  swiddens,  45 
Weevils,  scarcity  of,  275 
Weiss,  Prof.  E.  F.,  on  distribution 

of  Gorse  by  ants,  72-3 
Westerdale,  4,  40,  184  ;   origin,  215 

—  Moor,  coal  on,   188 
West  House,  108,  141 
Wheeldale,  122,  141  ;  glacier-lake  in 

142,  145  ;    overflow 
from,  148 

—  Gill,  5,  122 

—  Moor,  30  ;    upper  Estu- 

arines  on,  198 
Whitby,  3,  6,  7,  12,  15,  137.  x9i 

fossiliferous    grit 

Whitby,  rainfall  at,  59 

"  White  Flint,"  see  Moor  Grit. 

White  Moor,  moor  grit  on,  191 

Whitestone  Cliff,  194 

Whorl  Hill,  237 

Whorlton    Moor 

on,  191 
Wicklow,  Mountains,  66 
Widow  Howe  Moor,  15,  42,  122,  191 
Wilden  Moor,  Kellaways  Rock  on, 


Williamsonia    pecten    or    gigas    on 

boulders,  188 
Will-o'-the-Wisps,  90 
Willow  Epilobe,  173 
Winds,  58 
Winter  Gill,  vegetation  in,  103,  146, 

Wintergreen,  Chickweed,    see    Tri- 
en  talis. 
—  Round-leaved,    175, 

Wolf  Pit  Slack,  30 
Wood  Ant,  267 

—  Dale  House,  27 

—  Rush,  Field,  glacial  survival, 

Woods,  Birch,  124 

—  Oak-birch,  125-6 

—  former  on  moors,  106,  129- 

133  ;     disappearance 
due  to  growth  of  peat 
bogs,  130  ;  toman,  130 
Woof  Howe,  High,  23 
Woolmoor,  196,  240 
Worm  Syke  Ridge,  79 
Wykeham  High  Moor,  4,  5 

—         Low  Moor,  Lower   Cal- 
careous Grit  on,  194 

Yarlsey  Moss,  80,  82  ;    vegetation 

of,  82 
Yorkshire  Fog,   see   Holcus  mollis. 
Young  and  Bird,  7 

—  Dr.,  on  May  Moss,  6  ;   use  of 

word  "moor"  by,  31 

Zeiller,  on  Oligocene  flora,   154  ; 

on  Miocene  flora,  154 
Zones  of  vegetation,   107-9 



His  Grace,  the  Archbishop  of  York, 
Airedale,  Right  Hon.  Lord,  Gledhowe  Hall,  Leeds 
Allenby,  J.  E.,  Bridge  Street,  Helmsley 
Anderson,  Tempest,  D.Sc.,  F.G.S.,  17  Stonegate,  York 
Archer,  C.  J.,  Langburn,  Castleton,  Grosmont 
Atkinson,  F.  R.,  Post  Office  Chambers,  Middlesbrough 
Atkinson,  Miles  C,  Leamington  Spa,  Warwickshire 
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Barrow,  George,  f.g.s.,  28  Jermyn  Street,  London,  S.W 

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Bedford,  Miss,  14  Monkbridge  Road,  Headingley,  Leed 

Bell,  Sir  Hugh,  Bart.,  Rounton  Grange,  Northallerton 

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Bowes,  G.  H.,,  24  Union  Street,  Middlesbrough 

Blackburn  Public  Library 

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London,  E.C. 
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Calvert,  J.  S.,  Education  Offices,  Middlesbrough 
Carr,  Professor  J.  W.,  m.a.,  f.l.s.,  f.g.s..  University 

Champney,  John  E.,  27  Hans  Place,  London,  S.W. 
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Charlton,  William,  West  Garth,  Guisbrough 
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Hardisty,  Miss  L.,,  5  Glenholme  Terrace,  Middlesbrough 
Hardy,  J.  R.,  Knockholt,  Claude  Avenue,  Middlesbrough 
Harker,  Alfred,  m.a.,  f.r.s.,  St.  John's  College,  Cambridge 
Harrison,  J.,  Linskill  House,  Castleton,  Grosmont 
Harrogate  Public  Library 


List  of  Subscribers 


Hawdon,  W.,  Upsall  Grange,  Nunthorpe,  R.S.O... 

Harwood,  J.  R.,  5  Westbourne  Grove,  Redcar 

Hedley,  John,  m.d.,  Cleveland  Lodge,  Middlesbrough    . . 

Hills  &  Co.,  Booksellers,  Fawcett  Street,  Sunderland     . . 

Hinton,  Amos,  Hilda  House,  Middlesbrough 

Hitchin,  Edwin,  Rhyddington,  Oswaldwhistle 

Hodges,  J.  Percy,  Oakrood,  Middleton  Saint  George,  Darlington 

Hodges,  Figgis  &  Co.,  Ltd.,  Grafton  Street,  Dublin 

Holman,  L.  F.  K.,  26  Cavendish  Road,  West  Didsbury,  Man 

Holmboe,  Jens,  Museum,  Bergen,  Norway 
Hood,  Mrs.  C,  Woodlands  Road,  Middlesbrough.. 
Hood,  Harold,  f.r.p.s.,  Nunthorpe,  R.S.O. 
Horne  &  Son,  Whitby 
Hornsby,  William,  Saltburn 

Howarth,  J.  H.,  j.p.,  f.g.s.,  Holly  Bank,  Halifax        •    .. 
Howcroft,  T.  Y.,  Oxford  Road,  Middlesbrough 
Hubbard,  E.  Isle,  Brook  Park,  Sleights,  Yorkshire 
Huddersfield  Public  Library 
Hudson,  Baker,  Public  Library,  Middlesbrough 
Hunter,  Chas.,,  Marwood  School  House,  Great  Ayton 
Hurst,  Mrs.,  Stokesley 

Husband,  G.  F.,  Ayresome  School,  Middlesbrough 
Hutchinson,  John,  296  Newport  Road,  Cardiff 
Hutchinson,  T.  C,  Bryn  y  Mor,  Saltburn 

Ingle,  Chas.,  Bookseller,  Thornaby-on-Tees 
Irvin,  Rev.  B.,  b.a.,  The  Vicarage,  Saltburn 

Johns,  Cosmo,  f.g.s.,  Burngrove,  Pitsmoor  Road,  Sheffield 
Jones,  Rev.  D.  E.,  The  Vicarage,  Newton-on-Rawcliffe,  Pickering 
Jones,  J.  Archyll,,  Reethville,  Park  Road,  West  Hartlepool 
Jubb,  Rev.  J.  S.,  b.a.,  Ashfield,  Castleton,  Grosmont 

Kedward,  T.  J.,  12  Grove  Road,  North  Ormesby 

Keith,  A.  S.  S.,  Middleton  Crescent,  Dewsbury  Road,  Leeds 

Kelly,  Alfred,  4  Grove  Road,  North  Ormesby 

Kirby,  Miss  Georgina,  Post  Office  Chambers,  Middlesbrough  . . 

Kingdon,  W.  S.,  Norton  Lodge,  Stockton 

Knaggs,  W.  T.,  Nunthorpe,  Middlesbrough 

Kneale,  J.  Coole,  m.b.,  ch.b.,  l.r.c.p.,  Shirley  Lodge,  Shirley, 

near  Birmingham 
Knight,  C,  Jun.,  61  Lome  Terrace,  South  Bank 

Lamyman,  Alfred,  56  Balmoral  Terrace,  Middlesbrough 

Lane,  Rev.  G.  J.,  f.g.s..  The  Manse,  Upleatham  Road,  Saltburn 

Langley,  William,  4  Parkhurst  Terrace,  Southfield  Road,  Middles- 

Leeds  Public  Library 

Linton,  J.  H.,  Cambridge  Road,  Middlesbrough 

Lofthouse,  J.  H.,  Lyell  House,  Harrogate 

Lofthouse,  T.  A.,  a. r.i. b.a.,  f.e.s.,  The  Croft,  Linthorpe,  Middles- 

Lucas,  B.  R.,  Winnington,  Northwich,  Cheshire 


List  of  Subscribers 


MacDermid,  Colin,  Greenbank,  Eston,  Yorkshire  . .  . .       1 

MacMillan,  G.  A.,  St.  Martin's  Street,  London,  W.  C.    . . 

Manchester  Museum 

Margerison,  Samuel,  Calverley,  near  Leeds 

Marsden,  J.  E.,  The  Cottage,  Scalby,  Scarborough 

Martin,  N.  H.,  j.p.,  f.r.s.e.,  f.l.s.,  Ravenswood,  Low  Fell,  Gates- 

Massey,  Herbert,  m.b.o.u.,  Ivy  Lea,  Burnage  Didsbury,  Manches- 

Meek,  J.  M.,  6  Nelson  Terrace,  Redcar 

Mennell,  John,  27  Neville  Street,  York 

Middlesbrough  Public  Library 

Miles,  T.  &  Co.,  Booksellers,  95  Upper  Street,  Islington,  London, 

Mills,  C.  S.,  Tanton  Hall,  Stokesley,  S.O 

Mills,  F.  C,  Stones  Wood,  Limpsfield,  Surrey 

Norwich  Public  Library 

Oxford  School  of  Geography  . .  . . 

Paling,  Jas.,  51  Ayresome  Street,  Middlesbrough. . 

Palmes,  Guy  S.,  Lingcroft,  York 

Pannett,  R.  E.,  Whitby 

Parnaby,  J.  Murray,  Municipal  Buildings,  Middlesbrough 

Pawson  &   Brailsford,   Booksellers,    11   York  Street,  Sheffield 

Pease,  John  H.,  Carlbury  Hall,  Piercebridge 

Peckitt,  C.  Cecil,  Darnholme,  Goathland,  Yorkshire 

Pool,  G.  E.,,  a.i.c,  75  Queen  Street,  Redcar 

Priestley,  J.  H.,  10  Monk  Bridge  Road,  Headingley,  Leeds 

Punch,  J.  W.  R.,  35  Albert  Road,  Middlesbrough. . 

Punshon,  R.  M.,  Ingleby  House,  Northallerton 

Reed,  Frederick,  Parkside,  Hartburn  Lane,  Stockton  . . 
Ridley,  T.  W.,  Willimoteswick,  Redcar 
Ritson,  J.  R.,  Middlesbrough  Road,  South  Bank 
Robinson,  A.  H.,  Derwent  House,  West  Ayton,  Yorkshire 
Robinson,  A.  S.,  m.a.,  m.b.,  Dundas  Villa,  Redcar 
Roebuck,  W.  Denison,  f.l.s.,  259  Hyde  Park  Road,  Leeds 
Rowland,  Lewis  G.,  Thwaitefield,  Goathland 
Rowntree,  W.  S.,  Granville  Road,  Scarborough 

Sadler,  Sir  Samuel  A.,  Southlands,  Eaglescliffe  (deceased) 
Samuelson,  F.  A.  E.,  Breckenborough  Hall,  Thirsk 
Sanderson,  Mrs.,  Middleton-one-Row,  Darlington  (deceased) 
Saunders,  T.  W.,  189  Thorpe  Road,  Melton  Mowbray   . . 
Savile,  Hon.  J.  H.,  Arden  Hall,  Helmsley,  Yorkshire     . . 
Scharff,  R.  F.,,  ph.d.,  Tudor  House,  Dundrum  co.  Dublin 
Schroter,  Professor  Dr.  C,  70  Merkurstrasse,  Zurich,  Switzer 

Sewell,  Joseph  T.,  Chubb  Hill  Road,  Whitby 
Sheppard,  T.,  f.g.s.,  f.r.g.s.,  etc..  The  Museum,  Hull   .  . 
Simpson,  Henry,  Royal  Exchange,  Middlesbrough  (deceased) 
Simpson,  William,  f.g.s.,  Catterall  Hall,  Settle 
Sladdin,  Miss  M.  A.,  b.a  ,  Manor  Drive,  Halifax 


List  of  Subscribers 


Smailes,  C,  Magdala  Place,  Whitby  

Smailes,  Richard,  Victoria  Place,  Whitby 

Smith,  J.  F.,  3  Granville  Terrace,  Redcar 

Smith,    Stanley,,    f.g.s.,    Brandon    House,    Haughton-le- 

Skerne,  Darlington 
Smith,  W.  G.,,  ph.d.,  9  Braidburn  Crescent,  Edinburgh 
Smith,  W.  H.,  &  Son,  13  Coney  Street,  York 
St.  Quintin,  W.  H.,  Scampston  Hall,  Rillington 
Stead,  J.  E.,  f.r.s.,  Everdon,  Redcar,  Yorkshire 
Stuart,  Dr.  Chas.,  Great  Ayton 
Styring,  C.  W.,  13  Brudenall  Street,  Hyde  Park,  Leeds  .  . 

Taylor,  E.  W.,  Stancliffe,  Mount  Villas,  York 
Thomas,  W.  H.,  Roman  Road,  Middlesbrough 
Thompson,  M.  L.,  Gosford  Street,  Middlesbrough 
Thompson,  William,  Market  Place,  King's  Lynn 
Truslove  &  Hanson,  Ltd.,  153  Oxford  Street,  London,  \\ . 
Tugwell,  Frank,  102  Westborough,  Scarborough 
Turner,  Jas.,  Schole  Moor,  Holmnrth,  near  Hudderslield 
Turton,  R.  B.,  Kildale  Hall,  Grosmont 
Tutin,  Mrs.,  Sigston  Castle,  Northallerton 

Wade,  Mrs.  Edith  R.,  38  Ayrsome  Park  Road,  Middlesbrough 

Walker,  G.  H.,  Woodheys  Park,  Ashton-on-Mersey,  Cheshire 

Ward,  T.  F.,  Park  Road  South,  Middlesbrough 

Wharton,  W.  H.  A.,  Skelton  Castle,  Cleveland 

Williams,  Dr.  W.  J.,  109  Grange  Road  West,  Middlesbrough 

Wilson,  T.  Russell,  G  Dovecot  Street,  Stockton 

Woodhead,  T.  W.,  ph.d.,  Technical  College,  Huddersfield 

Woolstons,  Ltd.,  Middlesbrough 

Wragg,  Miss  H.,  b.a.,  Wyddrington,  Shirley,  Warwickshire 

Wragg,  Miss  E.,  Wyddrington,  Shirley,  Warwickshire      . . 

Wray,  Jas.,  Goathland,  Yorkshire 

Wright,  H.,  St.  Cuthbert's  House,  Newport,  Middlesbrough 

Scientific  Societies. 

Cleveland  Naturalists'  Field  Club,  Middlesbrough 

Darlington  Naturalists'  Field  Club,  Darlington 

Honley  Naturalists'  Society,  Honley,  near  Hudderslield    .  . 

5AVILE    Slid  II      \.M)    Gl.ORGI      MHI  II,    III   II 


Los  Angeles 
This  book  is  DUE  on  the  last  date  stamped  below. 

Form  L9-50wi-7,'54  (5990)444 


The  moorlands 
!±m of  '     •• 

eastern  York- 



AA    000  606  747